By Gillian Birch
(NC)—According to legend, the Christmas tree was first introduced to Canada long before Confederation, in 1781. This first tree, decorated with white candles, was a balsam fir cut from the dense forest in the region that is now the city of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec.
Today, Canadians’ decorative lighting of choice is LED holiday lights – in fact, according to Statistics Canada, 30 per cent of Canadian households reported using them during Christmas 2008.
Even though we’re no longer using lit candles as tree ornaments, the risk of fire remains real. Preventing them is as simple as ensuring the tree is regularly watered.
“Keep the tree watered,” said Wayne Ross, insurance expert at Aviva Canada. “It’s our mantra this time of year. Not only does it create a fragrant indoor winter wonderland atmosphere, but a wet tree is a safer tree.”
Here are some other safety tips to help keep your home not only festive, but safe as well.
• When buying your tree, make sure the needles don’t fall out when you bounce the tree on the ground. These types of trees tend to dry out very quickly, meaning they will also burn very quickly.
• Don’t overload electrical outlets with too much lighting and/or extension cords.
• Under no circumstances leave a lit Christmas tree unattended. If you’re out for the evening, be sure to unplug the lights.
• Never place lit candles near your tree.
Enjoy your tree this holiday season, but take the steps necessary to ensure it’s safe and your family and home are protected. More information is available from your insurance broker or online at avivacanada.com.