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10 Safety Tips For Your Christmas Tree

November 28, 2011

Many families choose to put up a live Christmas tree in their home to enjoy the beautiful scent of fresh pine and the special atmosphere a freshly cut tree brings during the holiday season.

Many of you will be shocked to find out that in Germany, not only will you find a live Christmas tree in most homes, many Germans are still decorating their tree with real candles! Yes, I do remember the beautifully candle-lit tree in our living room every year, a bucket full of water placed near by. At least once did that bucket come in handy to prevent a small fire from getting out of hand.

A Bit Of German History

History shows that the very first Christmas trees were not illuminated at all. It was a German aristocratic family that started the tradition of implementing real candles to decorate their tree in the 17th Century. Dorothea Sibylle, Duchess of Schlesien is reported to be the first to light her Christmas tree with real candles in 1611. 

Despite the fact that statistics (German KfV) indicate a 35% increase in home fires during the holiday season, many families, especially those with small children, cherish  the old tradition of celebrating Christmas with candle light.

Every year families are warned about the danger of burning candles and the temptation they cause for small children. Parents are reminded to never leave a child unattended while candles are lit. Even a baby carried in a mother’s arm can be subject to serious burns if getting too close to the Christmas tree. There is always the chance of the baby reaching for a burning candle. A pull on a branch could bring the entire tree to topple.

Difficult to imagine for me that the old tradition of using burning candles on a Christmas tree is still so widely accepted in Germany!

Here are some tips on how to safely enjoy your holiday season:

10 Safety Tips For Your Christmas Tree

  1. If you choose an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardent.
  2. When choosing a live tree, make sure to look for fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  3. A healthy Christmas tree is one that is properly hydrated and kept moist throughout the holiday season. Not only do you want to keep the base filled with water at all times, you might want to consider using a spray bottle to keep your tree from drying out. Make sure the lights are unplugged before spraying. A properly hydrated tree is more resistant against fire.
  4. Use a  tree stand that is size appropriate and sturdy enough of your Christmas tree. Prevent your tree from toppling by tightening the base securely to the tree stem.
  5. Make sure to only use lights that have the label of an idependent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  6. Prevent an electrical fire by carefully following all instructions on your Christmas lights. Do not be tempted to connect more sets of lights then recommended. Unplug the lights from the wall socket before going to bed. Never put your Christmas lights on a timer.
  7. Do not place your Christmas tree near your fireplace. Don’t follow the German tradition of lighting candles near your Christmas tree. Safe Flame candles look just as beautiful without the fire hazard of real candles.
  8. Keep children and pets away from your tree. Keep wires out of reach and be mindful of low hanging wires and ornaments. Dogs and pets playing with wires could cause an electrical fire. Small children might be tempted to touch shiny decorations and lights and should never be left unattended around your Christmas tree.
  9. Some Christmas ornaments are so tiny or contain very small particles that could be swallowed by toddlers. Place them high up in the tree or avoid them all together. Don’t ignore fallen ornaments. Children may cut themselves on tiny broken pieces that have not been picked up.
  10. If displaying a nativity scene, make sure it is child proof. Small pieces, especially those decorated with toxic paint, do not belong under the Christmas tree.

Wishing you a safe start to your holiday season!

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.  You will be glad you did!
Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986
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2 Comments
  1. Great tips Ulli.

    these should be in my newsletter.
    Dorothy

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