The NFSA recently completed a burn test, hosted by Assemblyman John Wisniewski. He wanted to show the importance of handling Christmas trees effectively. The U.S. averages 200 fires a year caused by Christmas trees.
"This holiday season should be a time of joy, but each year preventable fires caused by Christmas trees and holiday decorations bring tragedy to families all across the country," said Wisniewski. "However, there are simple steps everyone can take to prevent them."
According to the NFPA, this is what you should do when choosing a tree.
1. Pick a fresh tree with green needles that do not fall off when touched. You can also choose a fire resistant artificial tree.
2. Place the tree at least 3 feet away from a heat source such as a fireplace, stove, candle, radiator, or heating vent. One in every four Christmas tree fires are from a heat source being too close to the tree, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
3. Add water to the tree stand daily.
4. Make sure the tree does not block an exit.
5. Use lights that have been independently tested in a laboratory and approved for what you are using them for - indoor or outdoor lights.
6. Turn off Christmas lights when you leave the house or go to bed.
7. Get rid of the tree right after Christmas. Dried out trees are a major fire danger.
The American Christmas Tree Association says that live Christmas trees cause $13 million in damage annually from fires. So, if you choose to go with a live tree, be safe and take the proper precautions.