Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they are more likely to be very serious when they occur. Follow these Christmas tree safety tips to make sure your holidays stay merry.

Picking a Tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall of when touched.

Placing the Tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2″ form the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least 3′ from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water tot he tree stand daily. (A dry tree is an extreme fire hazard!)

Lighting the Tree

  • Use lights that have a label of an independent testing laboratory like UL. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any sting of lights with damaged cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions to find out the appropriate number of light strands to safely connect in a series.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree soon after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in your home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

More Tips

  • Make sure string lights have no loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
  • Use only a single extension cord that can reach your home’s outlet without being too long and being tangled.
  • Use UL-approved lights and cords.
  • Make sure lights are off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
  • Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground.
  • Never use candles to light or decorate a tree.
  • To lessen the chance of a fire hazard, purchase a freshly cut tree.
  • Make sure to keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Water the tree every day, and remove it from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry.
  • Don’t burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn.