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Deadly Christmas Tree House Fires

By Evan L. Kaine

The holidays are a time for tradition. Like so many traditions we may celebrate, the Christmas tree has become a staple for many families – regardless of faith. The decorations, lights and tinsel can make-up what is supposed to be one of the most beloved traditions for families. While many of us may venture to the nearest Target and snag a fake tree with pre-lit lights, many keep with the tradition of a real tree. However, while you may enjoy the distinct smell of evergreen, many forget the danger a real tree has in a home.

At Kaine Law, we want this holiday season to be as safe and joyous as possible. Therefore, we’re sharing some information and tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). According to the NFPA, Christmas trees were the first item to be ignited in an estimated 210 homes from 2009-2013. These fires resulted in 7 deaths, 19 injuries and $17.5 million in property damages.

Christmas Tree Fires Are More Fatal

When a tree ignites, it’s extremely difficult to contain the fire.  The fact that Christmas trees are centered near electrical outlets and often have a number of presents, wrapped with shimmering (flammable) paper, at their base, only adds to the blaze. In fact, on average 1 of every 31 home Christmas tree fires resulted in death – as compared to an average of 1 death per 144 total reported house fires.

Below you can find some tips to help you keep your holiday season remains bright and jolly:

Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Where to Place the Christmas Tree 

  • Before placing your tree in your house, make sure you cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, heated vents or lights.
  • Do not block any exits with your tree.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily. The NFPA recommends twice daily.

 Lighting the Christmas Tree

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • If you see a string of lights that seem worn or have a broken cord, replace immediately.
  • Do not over light your tree. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s suggestions on how many strands should be plugged in to 1 outlet at a time.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

 After Christmas – What to do with your Christmas Tree

  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Recycle your Christmas tree properly (Georgia Christmas Tree Recycling).

We hope these tips help you keep your tree properly treated and lit for your family to enjoy and remain safe!

Kaine Law is a personal injury law firm representing injured accident victims in Georgia.  With offices in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville and Stockbridge, Kaine Law’s personal injury attorneys specialize in representing injured motorcycle accident victims, injured car accident victims, injured dog bite victims and injured pedestrian accident victims.  Kaine Law represents their injured accident victim clients using a contingency fee agreement which provides that there are no legal fees unless we win.


Posted in Personal Injury |
Published December 12, 2018


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