As you decorate your home for the holidays, you want to be fire smart. If a tiny fire starts on your Christmas tree, it can quickly spread and grow very large before you can get the chance to fight it. To stay safe and fire-free during the holidays, we recommend you follow these Christmas tree safety tips.
Being fire smart begins at the Christmas tree lot. As you’re choosing a tree, prioritize fresh over shape and size. When you select a tree, make sure it has fresh, green needles. If the needles fall off when you touch them, the tree is too dry and therefore more of a fire hazard. And before you put the tree in a stand, cut off 2” from the base of the trunk.
Christmas Tree Safety in the Home
Once you get the tree in the stand and home, make sure you water the tree every single day as this helps it stay fresher longer. Do not place the tree near any heat sources, such as candles, heat vents, space heaters, radiators or fireplaces. The National Fire Protection Association (NHPA) says to place the tree at least three feet away from any heat sources.
- Do not place the tree somewhere that it could block an exit.
- When you light the tree, make sure the lights are only for indoor use.
- Replace any strings of lights that have loose bulb connections or worn out cords.
- Do not place any lit candles on the tree.
- Before you leave the house and each night when you go to bed, don’t
forget to turn off the Christmas tree lights.
After Christmas is over, be sure to get the Christmas tree out of the house, but don’t put it in the garage or against your home. Instead, make sure the tree is away from the house. Our advice is to find out if your local community has a tree recycling program and if so, arrange to have your tree recycled through the program.
Christmas tree fires are a real hazard. According to the NFPA, “More than one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.” The NFPA continues, “A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four of the fires.”