close up of real christmas tree and fire safety tips for a safe holiday season

The holidays are a time of fun and celebration. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association, “Between 2015-2019 , U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year.” Not knowing the correct way to take care of your Christmas tree, holiday lights, and electrical cords can put you, your home, and your family at risk for a nightmare of a holiday. At Professional Fire Restoration, we want you all to enjoy your holidays and stay as safe as possible. To help you accomplish that, here are some Christmas tree and fire safety tips for the holidays that we recommend.

Christmas Tree and Fire Safety

  • If purchasing a real tree, look for the freshest trees. They shouldn’t have any needles shedding yet. Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire. 
  • A real tree should be kept outdoors in a bucket filled with water for a few days before bringing it inside to decorate. This will help keep it fresh and decrease the chances of it catching fire. 
  • Keep your tree away from heat sources like heaters, fireplaces, and candles.  
  • Keep the tree base filled with enough water to avoid it drying out. 
  • Turn the lights on your Christmas tree off each night before you go to bed and whenever it is left unsupervised. 
  • If purchasing an artificial tree for your home, make sure it is labeled “fire-retardant”. This doesn’t mean it won’t catch on fire, but the chances of it being extinguished quickly is greater for maximum safety. 
  • When your tree starts to lose it’s needles and dry up, dispose of it immediately to decrease the chance of fire in the home. 

Holiday Light Safety

  • Each year, inspect all of your indoor and outdoor lights. Discard any lights that may be broken, damaged, or frayed. 
  • When buying indoor and outdoor holiday lights, be sure to only purchase low energy, safe lighting that has been certified by a safety testing lab.   
  • Make sure that you are reading the labels carefully and only placing exterior lights outdoors and interior lights indoors, unless they are multi-use.

Holiday Electrical Safety

  • Do not overload your electrical outlets. Each extension cord should have no more than three sets of lights plugged into it.
  • Do not place any electrical cords under carpets or furniture. It can be a tripping hazard as well as weaken the insultation and the wiring can overheat.
  • Make sure to keep all electrical wiring away from any water or heat sources.
  • Place paper wrapped presents far enough away from any lights or electrical wiring to avoid fire hazards.

General Holiday Fire Safety

  • Make sure to out all candle flames before leaving the room.  
  • Do not place any items too close to heat sources like candles, fireplaces, and heater vents. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a home fire. 
  • Create a fire escape plan for your home and family. 
  • Check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.