How to Prevent Christmas Tree Fires for a Safer Holiday Season

Last Updated on February 16, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster

As I sit here typing this blog post, our Christmas tree is lit up with lights behind me, just waiting for a few ornaments to be put on.  If you put a Christmas tree as well, you should take some time to read this post about how to prevent Christmas tree fires.  Christmas trees and other assorted holiday decorations are common in many households this time of year, however, they present a very real fire hazard and can have deadly consequences if certain precautions are not taken.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 30% of Christmas tree fires are deadly. That is a terrifying statistic!  So, if you want to prevent Christmas tree fires, here are a few things to keep in mind. I will include a few affiliate links for products you may find helpful.

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How to prevent Christmas tree fires for a happy and safe holiday season

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How to Prevent Christmas Tree Fires

Check out your lights carefully

Make sure your string lights have no loose connections, cracked bulbs or frayed cords. Don’t say ‘Oh, we will just use these one more year’.  Buy new string lights for Christmas trees if your’s are looking a bit too old to be safe.

Choose your extension cords carefully

Use ONE extension cord that can reach your the outlet without being too long and getting tangled.  Do not string multiple extension cords together and don’t leave them lying loosely across the middle of the floor for people to trip on.  Choose an extra long extension cord if your wall outlet is too far away.

Use UL-approved lights and cords

UL is an American safety consulting and certification company. They provide safety-related certification, validation, testing, inspection, auditing, advising and training services. Make sure your holiday lights have passed their safety certification!

Never use candles to light or decorate a tree

If you think you are somehow decorating your tree ‘the old fashioned way’ by using candles on it, well DON’T!  Fire should be nowhere near your Christmas tree, ever.

Purchase a freshly cut tree

To lessen the chance of a fire hazard, purchase a freshly cut tree. A tree that is older will be more dried out and definitely more prone to catching on fire.

Keep trees away from heat

Make sure you keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source. That means put it far away from your fireplace, wood stove, pellet heater, or even a heating vent.  Ours is in a corner near a vent but we made sure to pull the tree about 3 to 4 feet away from the wall to minimize the exposure to drying heat.

Keep candles far away from your tree  

This goes along with the point above about keeping trees away from heat.  Everyone loves a pretty smelling candle burning but keep that thing FAR away from your Christmas tree.

Keep your tree well watered

Water the tree every day.  It will need a LOT of water when you first bring it into your home but will slow down as the holiday season wears on.  Check daily and water as needed.

Turn off lights when unattended

If you are wondering how to prevent Christmas tree fires, this is one of the most important tips.  Make sure all lights are off when you go out and before you go to bed at night. Fires that start when you are asleep or out of the house will go unnoticed longer and have more devastating results.

Don’t leave your tree up for a month

Last year, my neighbors didn’t take their tree down til late February.  That is a serious fire hazard!  Remove the tree from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry. We usually take ours down around January 2nd which means we get about 2 to 3 weeks of holiday cheer from it.

Knowing how to prevent Christmas tree fires will help keep your family safe this holiday season.  Use good judgment when it comes to your Christmas decorations and you will have a merry and bright holiday season!

Do you have any other tips to prevent Christmas tree fires?


Now that your tree is safe, snuggle up and watch one of these great Christmas movies!


Christmas Movies for Teens


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