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Plano Fire-Rescue Urges Citizens to Heed Christmas Tree Safety Tips After 2012 Fire Fatality

Plano’s only fire fatality in 2012 occurred on Dec. 24, and while any fatality in Plano is tragic, the circumstances surrounding the Christmas Eve fire were heartbreaking. An 81-year-old grandfather died in his son’s Plano home after their Christmas tree ignited and the fire quickly spread throughout the home. 

Each year, fire departments across the United States respond to an average of 210 fires caused by Christmas trees. Carefully choosing and caring for your Christmas tree can help make your holidays safer. Plano Fire-Rescue and the National Fire Protection Association offer these safety tips: 

  • If you have an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. 
  • If you purchase a real tree, choose one with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched. 
  • Before placing a real tree in the stand, cut one to two inches from the base of the trunk. 
  • Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, etc.
  • Water the tree daily—without a sufficient amount of water, the tree will dry out faster.
  • Make sure the tree doesn’t block any exits like windows, stairs, and doors.
  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. Check the wiring of the rope lighting. Replace any string of lights that may have a broken cord or loose bulb connection.
  • Be sure to turn off all the lights on the tree when leaving the home or when going to bed. Do not leave the tree lights on overnight. 
  •  And did we mention watering the tree every day?

All information courtesy of Capt. Peggy Harrell, Plano Fire-Rescue

Thursday, December 19, 2013