10 Common Causes Of Christmas Tree Fires To Avoid During Christmas

Christmas Tree Fires is considered as an inherent hazard of the Christmas tree. Although a Christmas tree is always a fire hazard, it can become more of one once the needles start to dry out. Experts recommend keeping live trees for no more than four weeks, and continuing to water them during that timeframe.

So, dried-out Christmas trees can remain a fire hazard during and after the holidays, which is why it’s important to make arrangements to have them picked up as soon as possible; do not leave a dead tree in your garage or leaning up against your house.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), From 2016 to 2020, US fire departments responded to an estimated average
of 160 home1 structure fires per year that began with the ignition of Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian deaths, 11 civilian injuries, and $12 million in direct property damage. Fires that begin with the ignition of Christmas trees are a very small but
notable part of the US fire problem. These fires account for less than 0.1 percent of reported home fires, 0.1 percent of home fire deaths and
injuries, and 0.2 percent of direct property damage resulting from home fires.

Although the number of home fires beginning with Christmas trees is small, it is significant if you consider that these items are generally in use for a short time each year and are not present in many homes.

This is why you need to take note of “Common Causes Of Christmas Tree Fires“.

Common Causes Of Christmas Tree Fires

  1. Electrical failure or malfunction.
  2. Heat sources placed too close to trees
  3. Misuse of a material or product of the Christmas tree
  4. Keeping a dry Christmas tress instead of discarding it
  5. Abandoned or discarded materials or playing with a heat source around the Christmas tree.


Tips To Prevent Christmas Tree Fires

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is 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.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
  • Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.


Tips To Put Out Christmas Tree Fires

Here’s what the experts advise:

  • “Gauge the size” of the fire; a smaller fire can quickly spread and grow to other areas of the home.
  • If you can contain the flame before it becomes bigger than a small trashcan, and if you have the right type of fire extinguisher, use it quickly to extinguish the blaze.
  • If you’re using the fire extinguisher and the fire isn’t shrinking, it’s best to leave the area and wait for the fire department to arrive.

Are fake Christmas trees safer than real Christmas trees?

Real Christmas trees are three times more likely to be involved in a Christmas tree fire, compared to artificial trees. But that doesn’t mean artificial trees can’t catch fire. If you have a fake tree, you still need to be careful not to place it too near a heat source and to use appropriate lighting, according to all the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re in the market for a new artificial tree, make a point to shop for a flame-resistant model.

READ: Public Advised To Adhere To Fire Safety Practices Ahead Of Christmas

NOTE: Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage,
or placed outside against the home.