Friday, December 1, 2017

‘Tis the season to be wary

Christmas tree fires account for nearly $15 million in damages annually

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

Families have undoubtedly been reminded at every turn that Santa Claus is coming to town. For generations, this season  has had a profound influence on the sale of pine trees for display in homes despite the immediate risks it can pose to families. As families prepare for the celebrations ahead, Blais Insurance would like to suggest some tree fire precautions to help keep your family safe this holiday. 

While Christmas is a joyous time, small things can be overlooked that can cause severe consequences. Real trees are dangerous as they can be a catalyst for fires, which can spread throughout a room very quickly. In fact, an inferno was captured on video by the National Institute of Standard and Technology that demonstrated how quickly a tree fire can spread. You can watch it here.

Christmas trees have been part of American culture since before people can remember, and Blais Insurance would like to help you continue that tradition while mitigating your risk for a home fire.

Here are some suggestions to reduce the likelihood of a tree fire in your home.

·       Buy a fresh tree with bright green needles that are hard to pluck off. These trees are less likely to catch fire because their needles contain more moisture.

·       To maintain tree freshness and moisture, supply sufficient water into the tree stand every day.

·       Make sure you place your tree at least three feet away from any heat sources such as candles, radiators, heat vents or hot lights. Once a dry tree has caught fire, it can take less than a minute for the tree to be completely engulfed in flames.

·       Before installing any Christmas lights, ensure the bulbs are not loose and are intended for indoor use.

·       Christmas lights should be turned off before going to bed because the speed of a spreading fire can endanger the lives of your family.

·       Remove the tree as soon as the holiday is over. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees continue to pose a risk as long as they remain in your home and account for about 37 percent of tree fires in January.

Blais Insurance is committed to protecting your family from all forms of disaster. While Christmas tree fires account for $14.8 million in property damages every year, there is nothing worse than a loss of life.

For more information on how to protect your family, speak with one of our agents by calling 401-725-0070. Until the next time, happy holidays from your friends at Blais Insurance.