Hamden Fire Department emphasizes Christmas tree safety

New Haven

As the holiday season approaches, the Hamden Fire Department informed the public on Wednesday about important messages regrading Christmas tree safety. 

A minor Christmas tree fire can develop into a large one in a short amount of time. In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency reports that one fourth of Christmas tree fires occur due to electrical problems.

The NFPA advises selecting a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall when they coming into contact with other things. The same goes for artificial trees. The NFPA also recommends removing two inches from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in its stand.  

It is important that trees are not blocking any exits and that they are at least three feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces or radiators. It is also necessary to water the tree stand daily. 

Related Content: Picking out the perfect Christmas tree

The NFPA also suggests taking the following measures when it comes to lighting the tree. Lights should include a label of an independent testing laboratory. Strands of lights with damaged cords or loose bulb connections should be replaced. Also never use lit candles as tree decorations.

When leaving the home or going to sleep, the tree lights should be unplugged.  

After all the holiday cheer when Christmas passes, the tree should be removed. A dried out tree is a big risk for fire and it should not be left in or around the home. Find local recycling programs to help carefully dispose the tree. 

Taking the time to confirm that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly will also help ensure safety this holiday season. While it is uncommon for Christmas tree fires to occur, they are severe when they do happen. 

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