Every year, the National Fire Prevention Association estimates that over 17 million dollars in damages occur over the holidays due to dry Christmas trees. This can be prevented very simply by keeping the tree from drying out. Because of the drier climate this can be a special concern to Phoenix families.
While you may be tempted to buy a fake tree, remember that fake trees are not only bad for the environment, but can just as easily catch fire and will emit toxic fumes if set ablaze. Sticking with a live tree supports a sustainable US industry and they smell great! Caring for your live tree doesn’t have to be a chore. Just a few simple steps can help to keep your tree fresh and your family safe from fire throughout the holiday season.
Start by preparing your home for the tree. This is a great opportunity to conduct a fire safety check by testing the batteries in your smoke detector and making sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and the pressure needle shows green. Get the kids involved by reviewing your fire evacuation plan; maybe have a fire drill.
Next, inspect your light strings, replace any loose or missing bulbs, and recycle any that are old and frayed. Consider replacing the strands with low-heat, low-energy LED lights that will save on energy consumption. Remember not to overload your circuits.
Once your family has found the perfect tree, be sure you or the lot attendant cut at least ½” from the bottom of the trunk and place it in water. Plain water works the best, no additives needed! The key is to make sure that there is always plenty of water in the stand, as a tree that is left dry for longer than 6 hours may stop taking up water.
A new product, Evergreen Elf™, is a fun way to make sure the tree never runs out of water. This cute little elf sits with a sensor in the tree stand and will light up and talk when the tree runs out of water! The kids can check in with Evergreen Elf every day to make sure there is still water in the stand and that no one needs to get their hands dirty or poked by hanging branches.
Finally, when the Holidays are over, remove the Christmas tree from your home. Leaving a tree to dry out in your garage or leaning up against the house is a fire hazard. Most Phoenix neighborhoods have curbside recycling for Christmas trees; be sure to take them directly to the curb. Check with the Public Works Department for more details about your location.
Taking care of your Christmas tree can be easy and fun for the whole family. When you have your own team of elves, it’s less of a chore and more of a tradition that everyone helps to create.
For more information about the Evergreen Elf™ you can visit their website, EvergreenElf.com.
Written by: Bethany Sietsma
Bethany Sietsma has over 15 years working with entrepreneurs and start-up companies, providing market strategy and integrated management solutions. She is consulted on bringing ideas through manufacturing to establishing a storefront presence. Bethany contributes writings and art from her hometown of Winston Salem, NC.