How safe is your Christmas tree?

If like many people you're opting for a real Christmas tree this year, it's important you give safety some consideration. Failing to take some simple precautions could create unnecessary hazards in your home this yuletide.

Take heed of this advice and you and your family should be able to make the most of your Christmas tree without too much hassle.

Choose a fresh tree

The older the Christmas tree, the drier it will be - and this makes it more of a fire hazard. When choosing a live tree, there are some simple checks you can do to see how fresh it is.

Its needles should be green and firmly attached to the branches. You can check their freshness by bending them between your fingers and seeing whether they break.

Be selective when it comes to variety

You might also want to think carefully about the variety of tree you buy. Those with thicker needles tend to take longer to dry out and will stay fresher throughout the festive period.

Nordmann fir is a good example, but there are plenty of other varieties that will fit the bill and improve safety in your home this Christmas.

Keep water levels topped up

Once you've got your Christmas tree home, it's important to keep the water level topped up. This will prevent the tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

Check water levels once a day just to be sure - it will probably need more water when it's first put in place, so this is essential during the early stages.

Choose the tree's position wisely

Finding the perfect place to put your Christmas tree isn't always easy, but there are some safety concerns you'll need to make note of.

Avoid putting it close to where candles or fires are going to be lit, or where there's a radiator close by. There's not only a chance of fire, but the heating in your home will cause the tree to dry out faster.

Don't overburden power adaptors

Any extension cables or plug sockets you use over the festive period shouldn't be over-filled, as this can increase the risk of electrical fire. Use as many plugs as the socket has been designed for.

It's a good idea to think about installing a safety switch, which will automatically cut off the electricity supply when a fault is detected.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott