Christmas Tree Safety Tips

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.

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