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Christmas season means trees, lights and decorations that get us in the Christmas spirit. What you may not know is that certain dangers accompany these beautiful accoutrements of the holidays. One real danger is fire. At CGWC-The Florida Firm, we have seen our share of tragedy from accidental fires from incidents on the job, in apartment complexes, and homes. Unfortunately, the Christmas season is a time of high risk for home and building fires.
Take steps to prevent fires in your home and business. First, be sure to pick a freshly cut tree if you’re selecting a real tree to decorate. Check the needles and see if they feel dry. Bump the trunk onto the ground and watch for needles to drop off. If lots of dead needles drop off, it’s not fresh, is drying out and is more flammable. Check the bottom for signs of age since the cutting and pick the freshest tree. The trunk of a freshly cut tree should feel sticky. Don’t put the tree near a heat source where it will dry quickly. Keep the tree watered well, and don’t put the tree up too early. A real tree should not be placed in the home and decorated for more than two weeks. Inspect your Christmas tree lights for frayed wires, missing bulbs or other defects that could be fire hazards. Don’t overload electrical outlets with lights. Check wires and lights periodically by feeling them, as they should not be hot to the touch. Don’t leave Holiday lights on unattended. Use only nonflammable decorations, and be sure to use only flame retardant artificial trees and decorations. Finally, make sure your smoke alarms have fresh batteries and are operable.
Now, enjoy the holidays in safety. Happy Holidays!