Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Increased use of candles, fireplaces and electrical decorations set the stage for an elevated risk of house fires during this holiday seasons. In many cases, heat sources near Christmas trees are the biggest culprit.
In the United States, a quarter of the reported Christmas tree fires are sparked by some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, placed too close to the tree, according to The National Fire Protection Association.
Each year, between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 house fires sparked by Christmas trees. These incidents resulted annually in about three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage, the association noted.
To help keep your home (and holiday tree) from becoming another statistic, The American Christmas Tree Association offers the following safety recommendations:
- Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
- Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night before going to sleep.
- Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire. When choosing one, look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches.
- Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights
- Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab for safety. Avoid using any damaged lights.
- Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement. Also, be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
- Keep the tree base filled with water to avoid it drying out to quickly. When your tree begins to drop its needles, remove it from your home.