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Last Updated on December 1, 2022 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.
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 yours 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 putting 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!
More Christmas Tips and Ideas
Looking for more holiday tips this month? Check out a few of these posts:
- Read my natural Christmas decorating tips for house and home.
- Don't let Christmas decorations get out of hand. Check out my Christmas decoration organizing solutions.
- Looking for Christmas recipes? Make my Christmas tree brownies or some peppermint sugar cookies this week.
Do you have any other tips to prevent Christmas tree fires? Now that your tree is safe, snuggle up and check out my post on the best Christmas movies for teens!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.