The winter months are the peak time for fires, and Christmas trees placed too close to a heat source cause 1 in every 4 of those fires.1 Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and safe holiday season.
Christmas Tree Safety
- Select a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.2
- Cut tree bases at a 45 degree angle and place in water.3
- Keep trees away from heat sources.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Decorations should be non-flammable or flame retardant.
- Never use lit candles on a tree.4
- Only lighting that has been reviewed by a nationally recognized organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), should be used.
- Check light strings for frayed wire or other defects before use and replace as needed.
- Make sure you place lights correctly, as most lights are designed for either indoor use or outdoor use only.5
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands that can be safely connected.
- Turn off tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Be sure to add water daily. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.6
- When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
- Check with your local community to find a tree recycling program.7
General Fire Safety
- Smoke alarms should be on every level of a home, including outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.8
- Alarms should be connected for the best protection, so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button to make sure they’re still operational.
- Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Plan and practice a home fire escape drill that includes two ways out of every room.
- When entertaining guests, make sure they’re aware of escape routes.