Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires each year. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be. Here is everything you need to know about keeping your home and family safe from fires during the holiday season!
- One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four of Christmas tree fires.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.
- One-third of all candle fires start in the bedroom.
- Choose a Christmas tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk before placing the Christmas tree in a stand with water.
- Place the tree three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, radiator, candles, heat vents, or indoor lighting.
- Do not place a tree in the way of an exit of your home.
- Add water daily to your tree.
- Only use lights on your tree that have a label with a recognized testing laboratory on it.
- Replace any string lights that have worn or broken cords and loose bulb connections.
- Always turn off the Christmas tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Dispose of the tree after Christmas before it gets dry and becomes a fire danger. Do not leave it in the home or garage, instead, place it outside and check your local community for any recycling programs specifically for trees.
- When using candles, be sure they are placed in a sturdy holder away from anything flammable like curtains, lamp shades, and furniture.
- Handheld candles should not be passed form one person to another at any time.
- Always remain in the room with a lit candle. If it must burn continuously, be sure the candle is in an enclosed glass container and placed near a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.
- Consider using battery-operated candles, especially if there are children in the home.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. Three of every five home candle fires happen when a candle is placed too close to something that can burn.
Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do happen, they are more likely to be serious. One out of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by a heat source located too close to the tree.
Safety and Your Tree – Quick Tips
- Natural trees should be cut at a 45 degree angle
- Place tree away from sources of heat
- Use only non-flammable decorations
- Inspect lights for frayed wire or other defects before use
- Do not leave lights on unattended
- Keep the tree stand full of water at all times
- When the tree becomes dry, discard it immediately