GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Many families in West Michigan enjoy the look and smell of a real Christmas tree. But the Grand Rapids Fire Department warns families to be aware of the dangers of dry Christmas trees.
According to GRFD Lt. Nick Bonstell, dry Christmas trees cause about 200 house fires nationwide.
“About 20 people will die during the holidays due to fire related incidents,” said Bonstell.
Firefighters say the biggest mistake people make is not getting out of the building right away.
“Most of the houses these days have a lot of synthetic products in it, a lot of plastics and a lot of polymers,” he said. “That actually increases the speed and toxicity of the smoke that evolve when these fires happen.”
To avoid Christmas tree fires, keep candles and other heat sources away from Christmas trees and any other flammable fabrics or objects in the home. If you plan to use Christmas lights, never connect more than three strands together at a time.
It is also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors.