Christmas Tree Safety Tips

christmas tree safety

Did you know that Christmas tree fires account for around 200 fires each year? If you want to protect your family and your home, read these tips for Christmas tree safety. You’ll learn some important tips for both real and artificial Christmas trees.

Real Christmas Tree Safety

Real Christmas trees require specific care to reduce the risk that they catch on fire.

  • As you consider which tree to purchase, run your hands down branches or the top of the tree. If the needles fall off when you do that, the tree is too dry and you should choose another tree. Additionally, the tree should have fresh, green needles, and be somewhat sticky to ensure it has adequate amounts of sap remaining.
  • When you bring home your real tree, cut a couple of inches from the bottom before you place it into the water. This helps the tree absorb more water since when the tree is cut, the sap dries on the bottom.
  • It’s extremely important to water your Christmas tree. Trees can absorb as much as one gallon of water every 24 hours. The water should never go below the base of the tree.
  • Also, make sure that you keep your real Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources, and more if possible. This includes heater vents, fireplaces, space heaters, or anywhere that is particularly warm.
  • Ensure that the Christmas tree is not blocking any exits.
  • Be sure to recycle or otherwise dispose of your Christmas tree once the season has ended or it has dried out.

Christmas tree safety tips

Artificial Christmas Trees Are Also a Fire Hazard

According to Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), some artificial trees with pre-strung lights can be as much of a fire hazard as a real Christmas tree that’s too dry.

  • Make sure that you review the tag on the artificial tree to make sure that the pre-strung lights and trees have been approved by UL. If it’s not approved by UL, choose a different tree.
  • Check whether the lights are approved for indoor use, outdoor use, or both. Also, check for worn or broken cords on lights, as well as loose bulbs.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets by placing too many lights on one string, or using extension cords for your tree lights.
  • As you choose your artificial tree, make sure that you look for boxes that advertise the tree as flame resistant. While that doesn’t guarantee that the tree won’t catch fire, it does mean that there’s less of a chance it could happen as long as you follow best practices for tree safety.

Let’s Talk about Christmas Tree Lights and Candles

Real and artificial Christmas trees can be set on fire by Christmas lights and candles.

  • Make sure that you don’t keep real candles that are lit near or on the Christmas tree. Around half of all Christmas tree fires are started by candles.
  • Roughly one-third of fires during the Christmas season result from the use of lights. Too many lights on an artificial tree or hot lights on a dry tree can increase the chance of a Christmas tree fire.
  • If you have cords that stretch across the floor to an outlet, make sure that you don’t cover the cords with a rug. That can increase the chance of a fire.
  • Regardless of whether you choose a live or artificial Christmas tree, we have one more important tip for you. When you go to bed or when you leave the house, make sure that you unplug the lights.

Christmas tree candles leading to winter holiday fires

Have a Safe Holiday Season!

Thompson Law hopes that you have a safe holiday season. While Christmas tree fires are not common, they tend to be serious when they do occur. We’re here if you need us in the event that you or a loved one is injured or killed in a Christmas tree fire.  All you have to do is call us at 1-800-LION-LAW to get one of our Christmas tree fire attorneys working on your behalf.


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