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Safety Tips for Using a Natural Christmas Tree

By Kelly Balamuth on December 15, 2011

The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of holiday decorating and excitement for many U.S. families. Approximately 33 million households set up real Christmas trees each year, and millions more opt for artificial trees, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Dried-out natural trees, however, can pose a huge risk of fire, and over 500 people are injured each year due to tree-related fires. Here are some tips for using a tree that won’t increase your risk of a burn injury.

Choose a fresh tree. The tree you bring home should have a trunk that is sticky to the touch, and the needles should not come off in your hands if you tug or brush the branches. If you’re not sure whether a tree is fresh, shake it a few times. Needles that fall off when you shake the tree are a sign that it is too dry for safety.

Place your tree carefully. Trees placed near heat vents will dry out more quickly, putting you and your family at risk. Keep trees away from sources of heat or flame, like fireplaces, space heaters, and cigarettes. Try not to leave your tree up for more than two weeks, since time dries out even the healthiest trees.

Water often. Don’t let your tree “drink” all the water in its stand before giving it a refill. Water your tree at least once a day, and check the branches for snapped twigs or falling needles – a sure sign that your tree is approaching the dryness “danger zone.”

Burn injuries can cause life-long disabilities. If you or someone you love suffers a burn injury this holiday season, the experienced personal injury lawyers in Walnut Creek at Balamuth Harrington may be able to help. Call us today at (888) 254-1234 to learn more about your legal rights and options. The telephone consultation is free and confidential.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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