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Ways to Prevent a Christmas Tree Fire

By Kaitlyn Van Maanen, Marketing Specialist


Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. You do not want to add to the excitement of this holiday season with a Christmas tree fire. We've compiled a few tips on how to prevent your beautiful Christmas tree from going up in flames.

Christmas is a time for joy. You don't want to add to the excitement of Christmas with a Christmas tree fire. We have a few tips to help prevent that from happening.

How to Prevent a Christmas Tree Fire

  • Pick a Fresh Tree
    • Choose a fresh tree with green needles. If a tree's needles fall off when touched, the tree is too dry and a fire hazard.
    • To ensure that your Christmas tree is fresh, shake the tree. If an abundance of needles falls to the ground, the tree is again too dry and a fire hazard.
    • A fresh tree will have green, soft, flexible needles.
    • Do not pick a tree that has an abundance of brown needles.
  • Placement
    • Make sure your Christmas tree is placed at least three feet away from any heat source.
    • Make sure that the tree is not blocking any exits.
    • Before you place your Christmas tree in a tree stand, cut two inches from the bottom. This will allow for proper water intake.
  • Water
    • A dry tree is more flammable than a hydrated tree that is properly watered.
    • Fresh trees need to be watered DAILY. The tree must stay consistently moist to ensure that it will not catch fire. A medium Christmas tree can drink up to a gallon of water per day. If you find that your Christmas tree is dry every day, consider watering it twice a day.
    • Check the tree's water level daily to prevent the tree from drying out.
    • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a dry tree can burn faster than a newspaper.1
When connecting extension cords, follow the Rule of Three. Don't plug in more than three strands of Christmas lights into a single extension cord.
  • Lighting
    • Turn off any lights on or near the tree at bedtime or when you leave your house. If the lights are not in your sight, turn them off.
    • Check your lights to make sure they are not worn, and no wires are showing. Replace any old or damaged lights.
    • Switch your old lights out for new LED lights. The new LED lights are a cool touch and use less electricity!
    • Check for any damage to the cords and ensure no wires are frayed or damaged.
    • Take time to make sure your Christmas lights are for indoors. It is important to have the correct lights on your tree. Most Christmas lights that are safe to use in a home will include a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Safety Certification.2
    • Follow the rule of three. Do not plug in more than three strands of Christmas lights into a single extension cord. This will cause the outlet to overheat. Always cross-check the wattage of the Christmas lights with the capability of the power strip.
    • Don't leave your lights plugged in for a prolonged period of time (even overnight). Make it part of your routine to turn off your lights before you leave the house and before you go to bed each night.
    • Finally, when the season is over, make sure you store your Christmas lights properly. Proper storage will prevent damage for future use.
  • After Christmas
    • Dispose of your Christmas tree soon after the holidays. The longer a tree is inside, the more it will dry out causing it to become a greater fire hazard. Check with your local community for the proper way to recycle the tree.

Protect yourself, your home and your belongings. Make sure you have enough homeowners or renters insurance coverage.

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We want you to enjoy the fresh smells that a real Christmas tree has to offer. Follow these tips to prevent a Christmas tree fire so you can enjoy your holiday season! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

For more tips to stay safe during the hoidays, read our blog on 7 Tips for Saving Money & Staying Safe During Holiday Shopping. 





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