Christmas Tree and Decoration Fire Safety 2018

Each year, fire departments respond to roughly 200 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Of those 2 our of 5 are caused by electrical problems.

On average, one of every 32 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.


When picking a tree follow these tips:

  1. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it is fresh and has green needles and they do not fall off easily when touched.
  2. Before placing the tree in a stand, cut 1-2 inches from the base at a 45 degree angle.
  3. Add water to the "STURDY" stand and check daily to ensure the tree has an ample supply of moisture throughout the season.
  4. If you use an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled and certified by the manufacturer as flame retardant.
  5. Never block an exit with your tree.
  6. Never use a lit candle to decorate a tree.


Follow these tips when decorating:

  1. Make sure that lights and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Use lights that have a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL). If they are not labeled they could be hazardous.
  3. Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wire are a common cause of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet.
  4. Never connect more that three strings of incandescent lights. More than three strands may not only blow a fuse, but also cause a fire.
  5. Protect cords from damage. Cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces or placed under rugs. Also never attach cords by using nails or staples.


Get rid of your 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. CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY TO FIND A RECYCLING PROGRAM.

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