Some Christmas tree fire facts according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
- 1 of every 3 Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly 1 in every 4 Christmas tree fires.
So be safe. Follow these NFPA tips:
1. Pick and prep the tree.
- Select a tree that has fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when you touch them.
- Before placing the tree in your tree stand, cut 2” from the trunk base.
- Add sufficient water to the tree stand.
2. Place the tree safely.
- Put the tree at least 3’ away from any heat source, e.g., fireplace, radiator, candles, heat vents, or lights.
- Make sure the tree does not block an exit from the residence.
3. Decorate the tree safely.
- Select the appropriate lights—some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Use lights with the label from a recognized testing laboratory.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions concerning the number of light strands to connect.
- Do NOT use any strand of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- NEVER use lit candles as tree decorations.
4. Maintain the tree safely.
- Add water to the tree stand every day so the tree doesn’t dry out.
- Always turn off the tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
5. After the holidays, discard the tree appropriately.
- Do not leave a dried-out tree in your home or garage, or leaning up against your house outside.
- Find a local recycling program or trash collection site to get rid of the tree.
- For outside trees that have been decorated, bring the outdoor light strands inside to prevent safety hazards and to make them last longer.