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Christmas Tree Safety Tips to Prevent Fires

Christmas tree fires

One of the most exciting aspects of the approach of the winter season and the cold weather that comes with it is knowing that the holiday season is also upon us.

For those who celebrate the holiday, getting and decorating a Christmas tree is a great tradition and a fun activity for the family to do together.

But in the midst of all that fun, you need to consider the safety concerns that come with getting a Christmas tree for your home.

In particular, you need to be aware of the fire risk that comes with getting and decorating a Christmas tree ― whether it’s real or artificial. There is an average of about 200 house fires per year started by Christmas trees and these fires can lead to very serious damage in your home.

The last thing you want to worry about while enjoying the holidays with family and friends is dealing with a fire that could have been easily prevented.

Use the following Christmas tree safety tips as a guide to help you and your family celebrate the holiday season without risking fires.


No matter what kind of tree you get, you need to strategically place it in your home. For many people, Christmas also means snow and cold temperatures, so people use heat sources like fireplaces and radiators to keep their homes warm. Your tree needs to be placed away from these heat sources. If not, your tree can easily catch on fire and the fire will quickly spread throughout your home. With gifts wrapped in paper and paper bags sitting beneath the tree, there’s even more potential for a fire.

That said, don’t just place your Christmas tree where you want or where you think it will look the best. Place your Christmas tree where it’s safe from catching on fire.

Artificial Trees

Artificial trees tend to be safer than real trees because they don’t dry out. So if you are fine with getting an artificial tree over a real one, you should get one because there’s a lesser chance of it catching on fire. Artificial trees also don’t need as much maintenance and can be reused year after year. However, just because artificial trees don’t dry out, that doesn’t mean they can’t catch on fire. So when you do get an artificial Christmas tree, be sure to purchase one that’s flame resistant or flame retardant.

Real Trees

For those who prefer real trees for Christmas celebrations, the fresher the tree, the safer it is. This is because fresher trees have more natural moisture, making them less likely to catch on fire. If a tree’s needles fall or snap off easily, then that means the tree is too dry. When picking out a real tree, you want it to have bright, vibrant green needles.

Once you’ve picked out a tree, fill the tree base with water to prevent it from drying out. When it dries out, there’s a greater chance of it catching on fire. Additionally, spray your tree with water daily, but only do this when the Christmas lights are off and unplugged.

After Christmas, you should take down your tree because the longer your tree is up, the more prone it is to catch on fire. That said, your tree shouldn’t be up for more than four weeks because it naturally dries out with time. When you do take down your real tree, recycle it.


If you want to use Christmas tree lights for decoration, use UL-certified lights. Also, pay attention to whether the lights you have are for indoor use or outdoor use. You should only decorate your Christmas tree with lights intended for indoor use.

In terms of types of lighting to use, LED lights are a good choice because the plastic casing doesn’t break as easily. LED lights also don’t get as hot and they are more energy efficient and last longer.

Before hanging up Christmas lights, inspect them for any damage to the bulbs, plugs, or wiring. If you notice any damage, then don’t use them. If they’re in good shape, feel free to use them but don’t connect more than three strands of lights together.

When the Christmas tree is unattended, such as when you leave your house or are sleeping, be sure to turn off the lights.

The holidays are a festive time filled with fun activities, traditions, and family time, but you don’t want such an enjoyable time to be interrupted by a Christmas tree fire. Use the aforementioned Christmas tree fire safety tips to help you prevent house fires this holiday season.

In the event that a fire does break out during your Christmas celebration, call ServiceMaster Kwik Restore right away for professional fire damage restoration services. Our technicians will clean your home in the aftermath of the fire and can rebuild what has been physically damaged.