Christmas Tree Fire Safety

December 5th, 2018 by Meagan Noin

The holiday season is here, and we want you to be prepared and safe this season. One issue that can be dangerous to you, your family and your home is a Christmas Tree fire.

Like any fire, Christmas tree fires present a huge risk. We understand that Christmas tree fires are not very common, but when they do occur, they are likely to be serious and dangerous. A few interesting facts about Christmas tree fires:

  • Christmas tree fires alone result in 13 million dollars, annually, in property damage
  • One of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems
  • Candles start two out of five home decoration structure fires.
    • The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.
  • On average, one of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death
    • This is compared to an average of one death per 143 total reported home fires.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.

When displaying your live tree in your home, the combination of a dry tree, an electrical malfunction with lights and a poor location (for example, near a heating source like a radiator or vent) can make for a deadly combination.

We understand that your holiday season isn’t complete without a live tree, so we wanted to share a few safety tips and actions you can take to keep your family and home safe:

  • When picking out your tree, make sure it is a fresh tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck or don’t break easily from its branches.
    • Remember, trees shouldn’t be shedding its needles easily
  • When placing your tree, ensure it’s away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights
  • Keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dried-out tree. Get in the habit of checking the water daily.
  • Check all lights prior to putting them on the tree. Make sure there are no broken, or missing bulbs.
  • Keep all holiday candles away from the Christmas tree and surrounding furniture and décor.
  • Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night before going to bed.
  • Lastly, when the tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your Christmas foliage until next year.

Christmas trees account for several fires each year. Whether they are caused by a short in the electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches, Christmas tree fires are dangerous.

Remember, well-watered trees are not the problem. But, a dry and neglected tree can be. We wish everyone a safe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here is a safety video that shows how a Christmas tree can start and how fast it can grow.