National Fire Protection Association urges prompt Christmas tree disposal to avoid potential house fires

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A shopper passes by a display of Christmas trees outside the main entrance to a grocery store, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in southeast Denver. Add Christmas trees to the list of items facing shortages and higher prices this year. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRPROUD) — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests disposing of Christmas trees soon after the holidays to avoid causing home fires.

“As much as we all enjoy the look and feel of Christmas trees in our homes, they’re large combustible items that have the potential to result in serious fires,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “The longer Christmas trees remain in homes, the longer they present a risk.”

Nearly 30% of U.S. home fires involving Christmas trees happen in January, according to NFPA.

Between 2015 and 2019, NFPA’s data says 160 home fires started with Christmas trees, resulting in two deaths, 12 injuries and $10 million in direct property damage.

NFPA lighting and decoration removal tips:

  • Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.
  • As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
  • Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.
  • Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.

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