Fresh Christmas trees

Christmas trees may be arriving in homes earlier this year, presenting potential fire hazards

With people continuing to spend more time at home due to the pandemic, there has been talk in the news about Christmas trees being purchased earlier this year, even resulting in a possible tree shortage as the holiday nears.

This means that Christmas trees - large combustible items that present potential fire hazards – may be in homes for a longer period of time than usual. Fresh Christmas trees, in particular, continue to dry out over time, making them more flammable as the days go by.  The latest NFPA statistics show that 160 home fires occurred on average each year between 2015 and 2019, resulting in two civilian deaths, 12 civilian injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage.

With these facts and circumstances in mind, make sure to begin promoting Christmas tree fire safety as soon as possible. Our Christmas tree safety tip sheet offers tips and recommendations for safely enjoying Christmas trees this season. Following are some of the key reminders:

  • For a fresh tree, cut 2” from the base of the trunk before placing it in the stand. Add water to the tree stand daily to keep them well hydrated.
  • Trees should be placed 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, such as a door or window.
  • Ensure that decorative lights are in good working order and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

For additional information and resources on how to safely deck the halls this holiday season that can be shared online, through social media and/or as print-outs, visit our winter holidays page.

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Susan McKelvey
Communications Manager

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