Dealing with Disasters

O' Christmas Tree


I have to make a confession: there have been years when my family puts up no decorations at all.  If we aren't going to be around for the holidays, I ask my children if they really want to set up the tree, and I'm not disappointed if they shake their heads no -- less work for me! It saves two whole days of setting up and tearing down all those decorations.

Some years are a different story: when we decorate, we decorate big, with a tree, nativity scene, and all of the lights.  I think that after taking a year off, we enjoy decorating even more. 

We call our decoration style “ornament palooza.”  Every time our family travels, we buy an ornament to remember the family vacation.  Not only do we have newer ornaments, I even have one from the year that I was born!  It really is amazing that it hasn’t broken yet.   

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Of course, now running a PuroClean business I’m not only concerned about the aesthetics of the tree, but I’m also much more attentive to safety.  What do you do to make sure your house is safe during this holiday season?

Here is a list of safety measures that you should follow in your homes.

  • When decorating, be sure to check and only use lights that are rated for “indoor” use.
  • Do not use any string of lights with worn, frayed, or broken cords.
  • Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and make sure all lit candles are placed well away from tree branches.
  • Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily.Do not purchase a real tree that is dry or dropping needles.
  • If purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled flame retardant.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces or radiators.
  • Try to place the tree near an outlet to avoid running long cords, and do not place it where it may block exits.
  • Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles, as dried out trees are highly flammable.
  • Do NOT burn used Christmas trees in a fireplace. (They burn so rapidly it resembles an explosion and can shower sparks and burning embers for a wide area around the fireplace.)

In the event a fire should occur, it is important for property owners to know what to do (and what NOT to do), and who to contact once it has been extinguished. We experience an increased number of fire mitigation calls around this time of year. Many of these fires stem from holiday decorations such as Christmas trees. Fire, and the resulting smoke and soot, can very rapidly harm household items, even after it has been extinguished. It is imperative to seek help immediately from a professional restoration company, such as ours, to prevent further damage.

Examples of how quickly fire and smoke can harm property:

  • Within minutes, plastic and marble surfaces begin to permanently stain.
  • Within hours, metals tarnish, grout stains, fiberglass yellows, and furniture begins to yellow.
  • Within days, flooring stains, fabrics are irreversibly damaged, and wood furniture finish is compromised.

Please decorate safely!

Robin Hoy 


After more than twenty-five years in the construction industry, Chris and Robin Hoy have learned the importance of quality mitigation in disaster relief. Now as franchise owners for PuroClean Restoration Services, they take pride in responding quickly and efficiently to the damage caused by fire, water, mold and biohazards, filling restoration and mitigation needs within the community.  Click here to visit our website.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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