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Christmas Trees & Lights
Facts, Figures & General Information
On average, fire departments respond to 240 structure fires every year caused by Christmas trees, causing:
  • 13 deaths
  • 27 injuries
  • $16.7 million in direct property damage
The National Fire Protection Association reports these facts:
  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance to be deadly.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes on in every five of the fires.
Safety Tips (a partial list)

Picking the tree
  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1–2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.  
Lighting the tree
  • Only use lights with a label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturers’ instructions for the number of LED strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

NFPA’s “Home Christmas Tree Holiday Light Fires,” by Marty Aherns, November 2011.

NFPA does not test, label or approve any products.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
NFPA Christmas Tree Safety Tips 

10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547
10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547