On Monday, fire investigators concluded that the Dec. 12 blaze at the Annapolis Yacht Club was caused by a fault at an artificial Christmas tree’s light bulb system. According to the local fire department, the Christmas tree fire cost the MD yacht club $9 million in damages.
The fire was deemed of a three-alarm level, and one fireman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The Annapolis boating club has more than 1,600 members and about 20,000 people planned to take part in an annual Christmas parade at the club, which had to cancel it.
The Annapolis Fire Department cautions people to keep an eye on their Christmas trees or other holiday decorations and electrical systems, and take some precautionary measures that could prevent tragedies from happening.
The fire department underscored that the most dangerous are the trees. Cpt. John Bowes explained that although the common belief is that natural Christmas trees pose a higher risk of catching fire, which is true, artificial trees also pose a degree of risk.
Manufacturers usually use fire retardants on artificial trees, but most of their decorations aren’t secured. This is why the fire department urges the public to check the decorations for possible fire risks on an annual basis. People should also keep a close watch on holiday lights and anything that is electrical in their Christmas trees. Electrical systems that show signs of wear or damage should be discarded ASAP.
Other experts recommend live Christmas trees to be watered on a daily basis to make sure that they don’t get dry. Dried out trees can become engulfed by fire in less than a minute, experts warned.
Also, people should keep candles away from trees or other flammable Christmas decorations. Smoking and incense burning around Christmas trees also represent a fire hazard.
Many Christmas fires in recent years are tied to careless indoor smoking.
Officials also caution that this time of the year is the fire season. Many people use unsupervised cooking devices such as electric stoves to heat their homes, and in several cases those devices led to a fire.
Other people walk away from stoves or other fire sources when they cook leaving room for a grease fire to start in no time.
Image Source: Torange
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