How to Prevent Christmas Tree and Holiday Decoration Fires


It’s the time of the year again. We love to have holiday lights, candles burning bright and the warm glow around the house. It’s that special time of the year when our homes are bursting with the holiday spirit. 

What’s not so lovely is when Christmas glee is turned into horror as the tree bursts into flames or christmas decors catch fire. Christmas trees and other decorations are an annual tradition for many, but misuse and neglect can lead to tragedy. 

Fire departments across the country respond to hundreds of fires during the holiday season each year.  One in every 31 Christmas tree fires is deadly, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The association says electrical failures and malfunctions caused 30 percent of Christmas tree fires.

What can we do to prevent the creation of a fire hazard? Here are a few tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles.

  • Place it at least 3 feet away from a heat source.

  • Position it so it’s not blocking any exits.

  • Water fresh trees DAILY to prevent them from drying out.

  • Turn any lights off at bedtime or before leaving your home.

When using artificial trees, be sure they are flame-resistant and watch out for electric lights on metal versions. Electrocution can occur if the metal on the tree becomes charged. 

Christmas trees aren’t the only item you’ll need to be careful with. Holiday décor can create unseen problems, too.  Make sure to decorate with fire-safe ornaments and lights. Don’t crowd your outlets with too many plugs or use more than one extension cord for your outlet. Keep light strands to a max of three per cord to avoid a burnout. 

Check your lights. Faulty lights can cause a fire, especially the ones around your tree, which is why It’s essential to check the lights you used to decorate your house.

Another thing you’ll need to be mindful of is candles. D.C. Police said two out of every five home decoration fires are started by candles. The four most common days for candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, police said. 

With these little extra precautions, you can have a joyful and worry-free holiday.