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Tips on how to avoid fires from Christmas trees during the holidays

Flickr User Chris Breitenbach

Real Christmas trees may bring the smell and atmosphere of the holiday in your home, but they also pose a fire hazard.


It’s true that most live Christmas trees make it through the season uneventfully, but those that do catch first create some of the most dangerous and deadly fires of the year.

Experts said Christmas trees can become engulfed in flames in under a minute, especially if they aren’t watered daily.

Fire departments in the U.S. respond to some 200 Christmas tree fires each year. Those fires cause an average of six deaths and 16 injuries annually.

Lisa Braxton is the associate project manager with the National Fire Protection Association.

“So we advise that people choose a tree that has fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched. Before placing the tree in the stand make sure two inches are cut from the base, the tree farm or tree retailer will usually do that for you.”

Braxton said it’s important to keep trees away from sources of heat like fireplaces, heating vents, or candles.

Also, she said, homeowners should water their tree daily, use indoor lights with no loose bulbs or broken cords and turn the lights off before going to bed.