Friday, December 2, 2011

O Christmas Tree!

How lovely are thy branches?

Many of us will be headed out this weekend to pick out our Christmas Tree- one of my favorite holiday traditions. Even though Christmas trees add a certain holiday glow to our homes, they can also be a danger to our houses, if proper precautions are not taken. According to the National Safety Council, each year an average of 250 home structure fires are caused by Christmas trees- accounting for approximately $13.8 million in property damage!

I found some Christmas tree safety tips (courtesy of the National Safety Council) that I thought I would share:

-Try to select a fresh tree by looking for one that is green. The needles of pines and spruces should bend and not break and should be hard to pull off the branches. On fir species, a needle pulled from a fresh tree will snap when bent, much like a fresh carrot. Also, look for a trunk with sticky sap.
-Cut off about two inches of the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
-Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
-If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
-Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
-Use no more than three light sets on any extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against a wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs.
-Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

If you are looking for a place to pick out your Christmas Tree, check out this list of local Tree Farms.

Finally, there are a TON of holiday activities happening in our area this weekend, including the Festival of Trees in St. Albans. Just in case that doesn't satiate your Christmas Tree fix, next weekend is the Festival of Trees and Light at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe.

Have a safe and festive weekend!

-Jamie Wright, REALTOR

ps- If you plan on traveling holiday season, make sure your home is safe while you are away. Click here to check out these home safety tips that I shared a couple years ago.

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