While ‘tis the season, ‘tis also the season to keep in mind how to prevent any unexpected issues or fire hazards when decorating our homes for Christmas.
We all have a memory of Mom or Dad teetering precariously on a kitchen chair, trying to prop a star on top of the Christmas tree; or of the hours spent hanging the tree lights ‘just so’. We may not remember every tree we’ve had but often there’s one that we’ll never forget.
Sometimes it’s a single ornament or the dancing lights or tinsel that made it perfect. Sometimes it’s the simplicity that separates one tree from the rest.
No matter how fun and beautiful our Christmas Trees are, they must be taken very seriously. During this holiday season, let us take the time to make sure our precious memory-making tree doesn’t create the wrong kind of memory.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Christmas is about family – we know that. And what brings us together more than sitting around the Christmas tree, exchanging stories (and possibly gifts?) Unfortunately, Christmas trees are solely responsible for almost 13 million dollars (per year!) in property damage. Fire hazards from Christmas trees can be a real risk to our loved ones – something we would never want on Christmas, or any time of the year. Here are some of Excalibur Insurance’s top tips for Christmas tree safety.
Water fresh trees daily
If you’re using a real tree, buy a fresh one and always keep the base of the trunk in water. Keep your tree away from any ignition source such as the fireplace, heaters, or candles. The combination of tree dryness and the ignition source could spell disaster if you aren’t careful enough.
Check all sets of lights before decorating
Before you put those lights on the tree check the cords closely. Discard any sets that are frayed, damaged, or that you’re unable to get the bulb completely in place. If your lights are being used outdoors, make sure that they are specifically labeled as suitable for placement outside. You may also want to be strategic about where you plug them in.
Make sure you have working smoke alarms
You should have an alarm on every floor of your home and one close to the bedrooms. Replace detectors that are over 10 years old.
Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely if a fire occurs
Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with all members of the household, with an established muster point. This includes any relatives who are not permanent members of your household but may be visiting for the holidays. Once outside, stay outside and call 911 from a cell phone or neighbours’ house.
Use extension cords wisely
Maybe our preferred spot for the tree isn’t near a plug. An extension cord can be the perfect solution, but make sure not to plug too much into them, and check to see if they are new and/or have safety closures.
Give space heaters space
If you are using space heaters to help take the chill off, keep them at least a meter or more away from your tree.
When you go out, blow out!
As a rule, keep your candles away from your trees and for added safety always remember to blow out your candles.
Home Insurance and Fires
Homeowners insurance may help cover your home and your belongings against exposures like fires. The majority of policies will offer coverage that can help rebuild or repair your home if your home and its contents have been damaged by fire.
If your personal property, home, detached structures, or covered recreational vehicles have been damaged by wildfire, your homeowners insurance typically helps pay for any expenses pertaining to the rebuild and/or repairs. That being said, it’s in your best interest to do what you can to prevent a fire from happening in the first place! The holiday season is a great time to have fun with your family and take it easy, but it can also be a huge hazard for fires because we are preoccupied with other things – like visiting with family – and our homes may be decorated with dry needles, lights, candles, and other possible fire hazards.
Get a home insurance quote with Excalibur Insurance and discuss with our brokers more ways to keep your homes safe against the threat of fire during the holiday season.