Chances are most people that celebrate Christmas have a Christmas tree standing tall and decorated somewhere in there home.
Driving home last night I sat in a ton of traffic trying to make it to the highway, assuming it was just some inconvenient construction I turned up the Christmas songs and got ready to stick out the long haul. Soon I discovered the delay was not for concrete being laid, but due to an accident (in the same exact area oddly enough).
Driving at a petty 5 mph and stopping right next to the accident I could not help but look.
The accident was on the main road outside of a Christmas tree stand and two SUVs were involved. The sky was black and the police lights were flashing making it difficult to really make out what happened, however I do feel it is a far assumption that these two lanes were closes due to a Christmas tree accident.
It got me thinking about how dangerous these lit up pieces of nature that we bring into our homes are.
Haven’t decorated the green beast yet? Well when you do be careful; injury reports from decorating the tree (and house) have been rolling in over the years including stab wounds from the needles on the tree, cuts and pricks from the holly and falling while trying to hang things up high. Good luck hanging that star on top of the tree this year.
The decorations are up and the tree is lit? You are not out of the woods yet (ha). You want to make sure your tree stays moist, dry trees are extremely dangerous.
Between 2005 and 2009 the National Fire and Protection Association (NFPA) reports that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 240 home fires started by Christmas trees each year. Those fires are reported to have caused on average 13 deaths, 27 injuries and $16.7 million in direct property damage.
While the NFPA also states that Christmas tree fires are not common, they note that when the green beast catches flames it is an extremely dangerous situation.
Own a plastic tree and think your home free? Think again, plastic Christmas trees can catch fire just like a live one, so be careful.
Don’t think the green beast only attacks within the home though, last December (December 10, 2010) a Christmas tree truck driver suffered minor injuries in downtown L.A. after his “his vehicle, carrying thousands of pounds of Christmas trees, topples on a downtown L.A. freeway” on morning. The accident took place at 4:30 am and only a few trees were reported to have fallen off.
Being someone who has seen a house go up in flames from a curious kid playing with a lighter and a Christmas tree, I ask you all too please follow proper safety measures to ensure a wonderful Christmas season.