Fire safety: Don’t let Christmas decorations force your family out of a home

POSTED: Monday, December 3, 2012 - 2:15pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 3, 2012 - 2:19pm

Electrical problems, space heaters, faulty tree lights, and candles all contribute to fires during the holidays. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2005-2009, an average of 240 homes are destroyed to fires started with Christmas trees. These fires caused an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage each year.

The association also says five of every six Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January and nearly half of home Christmas tree structure fires happened on the twelve days from December 23 through January 3.

Here are some fire safety tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Place your tree in a stand with water, well away from heaters or the fireplace. Check water daily.
  • Keep bulbs from touching branches. If lights do not have clips, never fasten them to branches with wire.
  • Use only lighting approved by Underwriters Laboratories. Examine each light string before hanging for fraying.
  • Never burn candles on or near the tree.
  • Avoid using flammable decorations, even the paper ones made by children.
  • Never use lights on a metallic tree.
  • Don’t overload extension cords or outlets.
  • Turn off decorative lighting when you leave the room.

This NFPA / UL video demonstrates the flammability of a dry Christmas tree vs. a tree that has been watered regularly. 

Download this Christmas Tree Safety guide below.

ChristmasTreeSafetyTips.pdf875.12 KB

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