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AAA Offers Christmas Tree Safety Tips – How to Tie One On and Get Lit Safely
PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 14, 2018) With the Christmas season well underway, many Philadelphia-area residents have turned their focus to choosing a live tree. Whether tying the tree to the vehicle yourself or having someone do it for you, drivers should always make sure that their new holiday decoration won’t harm their vehicle, other motorists’ vehicles or the passengers inside. And once you get your tree home, there are a few things to know to help you keep it and your holiday homestead safe.
Tying One On
According to a AAA survey, an estimated 20 million Americans who purchased a real Christmas tree in the last three years did not properly secure it to their vehicle, risking serious vehicle damage and endangering others on the road.
“Twine that is wrapped around trees and looped through door jambs or open windows can cause serious vehicle damage such as scratched paint, torn door seals and distorted window frames – damage that could cost up to $1,500 to repair,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "Throwing a tree on a vehicle and not securing it or carelessly tying it on could present a serious road danger if it comes loose and flies off into traffic," Tidwell said.
According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road debris (such as a Christmas tree flying off a car) was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes nationwide that resulted in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths over a four-year period. And, about two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of improperly secured items falling from a vehicle.
Fortunately, Christmas trees can be safely transported, AAA says, by taking the following steps:
In Pennsylvania, under PA General Assembly Title 75, the general rule is that no vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking or otherwise escaping. Violations can result in a fine of between $100 and $1,000, dependent on whether the violation caused an injury.
Once the Christmas tree reaches its holiday home safely, proper placement and decorations are key to prevent a devastating house fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that although Christmas tree fires are rare, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious:
“No one wants to have their holiday ruined by a house fire that could have been prevented,” said Craig Small, Ogden Fire Company Chief. “While you may look at your tree as the centerpiece of your holiday decorations, you must treat it as a potential fire danger and take steps to protect your family and your home.”
Make sure the fireplace is all that gets “lit.”
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.
Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
This event had:
This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA
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This site serves residents of the AAA Club Alliance service area which includes Greater Hartford, CT Area, Cincinnati Tri-State Area, Miami County, OH, Greater Dayton, OH Area, Northwest Ohio, AAA Blue Grass & Bluefield Regions, Southern West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Write Us: AAA Club Alliance, One River Place, Wilmington, DE 19801