This year’s unseasonably warm temperatures, low humidity, and low precipitation have led to devasting wildfires continuing unusually late into the winter months. As Christmas approaches, the risk of household fires grows greater as candles are lit, fireplaces are stoked, large meals are cooked, and, of course, the large tree in your living room begins to dry out.
When picking out a Christmas tree, find one with fresh, green needles. Even if you cut your own, many trees are already dry due to the low soil moisture. Keep the tree away from heat sources like candles and heaters, and make sure you water it daily. Live, cut trees require daily watering. When lighting your tree, check to see if the lights are properly rated, the cords are in good shape and not worn or broken, and each bulb is correctly connected.
Holidays can be stressful, but with a little attention, we can enjoy this time of year safely and with less risk of fire. Let’s do what we can to keep our trees watered and safely distanced from ignition sources.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our team at the Montana Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.