NFPA provides a wealth of safety information to help ensure the holiday season is a safe one.
Festive celebrations, flickering lights and winter greens are hallmarks of the holiday season, but they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this festive time of year into a devastating one. NFPA works to educate the public about potential fire risks during the holidays, offering tip sheets, videos, and other resources to help everyone safely enjoy the season.
Social media cards
Download these social media cards and share these holiday fire safety tips on Facebook and Twitter. All cards are in JPG format.
Winter holiday fire facts
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of one civilian fire death, 26 civilian fire injuries and $13 million in direct property damage.
- Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in more than two in five home Christmas tree fires.
- Nearly one in five Christmas tree fires were started by lamps or bulbs. Six percent were started by candles.
- Roughly two of every five home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.
- Candle fires peak in December and January with 11 percent of candle fires in each of these months.
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
- Year round, more than one-third (35 percent) of home decoration fires were started by candles. This jumped to almost half in December when candles started 45 percent of such fires. Cooking started one-fifth (19%) of decoration fires.
Source: NFPA's Applied Research
It's time to deck the halls, but follow NFPA's simple safety tips to help keep yourself and your family and friends safer from fire.
For kids and families
Whether you are looking for coloring pages, activity sheets or e-cards, we have what you need to keep you fire-safe this holiday season.
Christmas tree & decoration fires
Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer. Between 2016-2020, US fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees.
In the throes of holiday shopping and decorating? Check out the 9 Ways You’re a Holiday Decorating Disaster.
Christmas tree disposal
As Christmas trees dry out, they become more and more flammable. Thirty percent of Christmas tree fires were in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they can grow very fast.
A live Christmas tree burn conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows just how quickly a dried out Christmas tree fire burns, with flashover occurring in less than one minute, as compared to a well-watered tree, which burns at a much slower rate.
In 2019, the three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking were: Thanksgiving, Christmas day and Christmas Eve. That's why it's important to know what you can do to help keep your friends and family safe while entertaining for the holidays.
Put a Freeze on Winter Fires
NFPA and USFA team up each year for "Put A Freeze on Winter Fires"
to remind you that the winter months are the leading time of year for home fires. To help you stay safe, we’re providing a wealth of safety tips and information on cooking, heating, candles and holiday decorating – factors that contribute to the increased risk of home fires in the m
Holiday infographics & social media cards
- Put a freeze on winter holiday fires infographic (PDF)
- Put a freeze on winter holiday fires (Spanish) infographic (PDF)
- Put a freeze on winter holiday fires social media card #1 (PDF)
- Put a freeze on winter holiday fires #2 (PDF)
NFPA's lovable Dan Doofus shows you how to have a fire-safe holiday with a few simple safety tips.