‘Tis the season for fresh-baked cookies, colorfully wrapped packages, fun gatherings with family and friends, and for many Chicago homeowners, beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Certainly, a gorgeous green pine tree is one of the delights of the holiday season. But sadly, if homeowners don’t practice a little bit of extra caution in selecting and caring for their holiday tree, they can become a dangerous fire hazard and cause tremendous fire damage.
In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, U. S. fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires started by Christmas trees each year between 2007 and 2013. These fires caused an average of 6 deaths, 22 injuries, and over $18 million in property damage annually.
Whether you’re a homeowner in the Chicago neighborhood of Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Old Town, or South Loop, there are several strategies you can practice to prevent your fresh and fragrant holiday tree from starting a fire. But if the unthinkable does happen, you can turn to the licensed, bonded, and highly trained fire damage restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons for immediate and compassionate help. They’re on call 24/7 during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year to assess your fire and smoke damage quickly and get it cleaned up in record time.
Here are some smart tips for carefully selecting, lighting, and discarding your Christmas tree this holiday season:
Selecting the tree: Choose a tree from the woods or tree lot with fresh, vibrant green needles that do not fall off easily when touched. If the tree is already shedding its needles, select another one. Before placing the tree in its stand, cut about two inches from the base of the trunk. Be sure to water the tree daily, as a well-hydrated tree is less likely to catch fire.
Placing the tree: Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit and is set at least three feet away from any heat source, including candles, fireplaces, furnace vents, lights, or radiators.
Lighting the tree: Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory and are designed for indoor use. Replace any string lights that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read and follow the manufacturer’s limits for the number of strings that can be safely attached. Never use lit candles to decorate the tree. Turn off the tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Discarding the tree: Once the holidays are over, get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Move the tree immediately to the curb for recycling after it’s taken down. Don’t leave it in the garage or beside your home where it could fuel a fire.
ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides high-quality and efficient fire and smoke damage restoration in 18 Chicago neighborhoods. Call us today at 773-376-1110 for immediate assistance.
Happy Holidays from all of us at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons!