An annual campaign by the Osiris Shriners and the Wheeling Fire Department offers tips to keeping your house safe with the help of a little ornament.
According to officials, fresh cut Christmas trees are the most dangerous source of house fires during the holidays. Research shows that many Americans do not follow key fire and burn safety tips during the season.
Wheeling Firefighters demonstrated that it only takes 28-seconds for a dry tree to be fully engulfed in flames.
Shriner Barry Crow said they have had to life flight local kids to the burn unit after fires. They said they don’t want that to happen ever, especially during this holiday season.
Investigator Ed Geisel said the key is to keep your tree watered.
“Put it in your stand, keep it watered, you might have to water it two or three times the first day and it slows down after that,” Geisel.
“Maybe we shouldn’t put that light on there, maybe we shouldn’t put this tree where it’s at. I hope everyone has a safe Christmas and we don’t have any problems at all like that, and thank goodness for our fire departments all of them around that they are so diligent and work so hard for the communities,” said Crow.
A survey found that 70-percent of people are aware that a live tree should be watered daily, but only 45-percent follow through.
Firefighters offered the following tips to keeping your home safe:
- Don’t put your tree near an exit
- Use LED lights, compared to incandescent bulbs
- Turn off the lights when you leave the house
- Don’t put the tree by a vent or space heater
- Don’t overload your electrical outlets
If you should encounter a Christmas tree fire or another incident, call 911 and do not try to fight the fire on your own.