It’s finally the time of year that many of us, both big and small, love most: the Holiday Season! In this festive season, let’s keep in mind some safety rules for your Christmas tree!
Natural or artificial tree?
The snow has begun to fall and the holiday season is in the air. Time to put up your Christmas tree! Every year, the question remains: Do I get a natural tree or an artificial tree?
For some, the artificial tree is a no-brainer. They’re safer, cleaner, easy to install, and they last a long time. There are therefore many advantages to going with an artificial tree. Artificial trees are also good if you have animals or small children at home.
For others, Christmas without a real tree just isn’t the same! They’ll tell you it’s a tradition and that it smells great in the house. If you choose a natural tree, though, you should know there’s a greater risk of fire. This danger can be reduced by following some basic safety rules.
If you’re getting a natural tree, which one should you choose?
When you go to pick your tree, choose one that’s freshly cut. Make sure the needles are nice and green and that they don’t easily fall off. That way you’ll know your tree is still fresh and not drying out.
Visit the website (Québec’s association of Christmas tree-growers) to find a nearby grower.
Once you get home, freshness is the key to safety
Cutting the trunk at an angle will help the tree absorb water more easily, which will keep it fresh longer. Then, set up your tree using a support that has a water reservoir that’s big enough for you to give the tree enough water to keep it fresh. By filling the basin every day and making sure it never goes dry, your tree will stay fresh longer and be much less likely to catch on fire.
Caution: If your tree is too dry and you’re not using LED lights, just turning on the lights could start a fire. So, when it comes to your natural tree, safety is all about freshness. Once your tree is up, keep in mind that as soon as it starts to dry out it will have to go. Don’t put the remnants of your Christmas tree in your fireplace, as burning needles produce a lot of heat very quickly, which increases the risk of fire. In general, if your tree stays as fresh as possible, it can last you up to two weeks. However, if it dries out sooner, you unfortunately will have to put it out for recycling or dispose of it in accordance with your city’s rules.
Be careful with your lights
Whether you choose a natural or artificial tree, it’s important to be careful with your lights. Here are some points to consider to help prevent a fire hazard:
- Choose bulbs that are approved by recognized organizations such as CSA and ULC
- Keep indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside
- Check the condition of the lights and do not install them if the cord is damaged
- Always turn off your tree lights before leaving the house and going to bed. By doing so, you help prevent electrical damage or heat from the lights from setting fire to your tree
- Opt for a timer that turns your lights on and off at set times. Timers can be bought at most big-box stores
- Never conceal extension cords under carpeting as they may be damaged or overheat
- Do not overload sockets and extension cords
- The presence of working smoke alarms and a suitable fire extinguisher also helps to ensure greater safety
If you have children or pets, avoid using glass Christmas ornaments. If they break, they can cause serious injury.
In the end, there is no right or wrong between natural and artificial trees. There is only the best choice for you and your family accompanied by safe practices to follow. No matter which one you choose, keep these simple safety rules in mind so you can fully enjoy the holiday season!
Also, be sure to look at our 5 tips for a safe and happy Holiday Season!