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Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Updated: Jan 22

Family decorating the Christmas tree

Christmas trees are arguably one of the most magical and special parts about the Christmas season. From picking out the right one to decorating it with lights and ornaments with your loved ones—then enjoying it in your home for the remainder of the year—Christmas trees stand as sparkling, tradition-filled symbols of the most wonderful time of the year. But, sadly, they can also be the cause of unfortunate memories, too—The American Christmas Tree Association reports that Christmas trees cause $13 million in property damage every year—that’s a lot of money being spent on something no one wants to pay for at Christmas! Luckily, there are simple things you can do to make sure your live Christmas tree doesn’t become the next light show on the block.

Here are the top tips the National Fire Protection Association suggests for keeping your home safe from a Christmas tree fire this season:

  1. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

  2. Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.

  3. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.

  4. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

  5. Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

  6. Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

  7. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

  8. Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

  9. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas:

  1. Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

  2. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

  3. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

By following these tips, your tree should stay fresh, safe from fire, and provide long-lasting Christmas cheer as the centerpiece of your homes this year.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,

Your Friends at FireAvert

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