5 Ways to Prevent House Fires this Fall

5. Remove The Christmas Tree When The Holiday Is Over

Nearly 40 percent of home fires ignited by Christmas trees occur in January — long after gifts have been unwrapped.

To show homeowners what can happen when a dry Christmas tree catches fire, Erie Insurance and the Erie Fire Department staged a fire in a vacant home.

The result?

A Christmas tree fire can fill a room with toxic smoke in just 30 seconds and burn down an entire living room in one minute.

In this particular staged scenario, the home was completely engulfed in flames and smoke in just five minutes.

Proper care and maintenance of a Christmas tree can go a long way to make sure you and your family, as well as your home, are protected this season. Make sure your tree is properly hydrated and water it every day.

A dry Christmas tree can catch fire and burn faster than a newspaper. The longer you keep the tree in your home, the more dried out it gets.

One out of every three Christmas tree fires in a home is caused by electrical problems. Make sure to inspect the lights for damage, tossing out any that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked wires.

Don’t forget to check smoke detectors, too, so you can be alerted in the event of an emergency. Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat sources, including fireplaces, furnaces or space heaters.

Instead of using real candles this season, opt for battery-operated, flameless candles. They look, smell and feel like the real thing without adding risk.

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