Christmas tree safety important
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – A Christmas tree caught fire Wednesday evening at the residence of Larry Wilson in west Crowley causing smoke damage, burnt presents, and even melting a clock on the wall.
However, due to the quick response of the Crowley Fire Department, the home was saved from being a complete loss.
“We were able to contain the fire to one room,” said Crowley firefighter Robby Burke. “We got the call at approximately 10 p.m. The strange thing is that it started on a live tree. The lights may have played a part in starting the blaze.”
A relative of Wilson’s who wished to remain anonymous stated that Wilson made a trip to Lafayette after turning on the lights on his tree. Safety experts state that a lit tree should never be left unattended.
Burke also added one other piece of advice.
“If it is a live tree be sure to keep it watered well,” he said.
Among some other tips to follow when following Christmas tree safety are:
- When you buy your tree, have the vendor make a fresh cut an inch from the bottom, this will help the tree drink.
- If you buy your tree early and keep it outside, store it away from wind and sun, and keep the bottom in a bucket of water.
- Make sure your lights are safe. If you need outdoor lights, make sure the ones you buy are meant for outdoor use. Make sure your lights carry certification from a testing laboratory.
- Don’t use electric lights on a metal tree.
- Discard any strings of lights that are frayed or broken. Christmas lights are cheap.
- Unplug your Christmas tree before you go to bed.
- Don’t buy a tree that is dry and dropping needles.
- Make sure your tree seems wobbly, center it in the stand more securely and redo the bolts or screws. Or if your tree stand is cheap, buy a larger, stronger one.
- Make sure your tree stand holds plenty of water, and don’t let it run out.
- If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-retardant.
- Keep your tree at least three feet from furnaces, radiators and fireplaces.
- When Christmas is over or when the tree starts to drop needles, dispose of it. Don’t leave it in your house or garage.
- Keep a close eye on small children when they are around the tree; many small decorations and ornaments are sharp, breakable and can be swallowed.