Although artificial trees pose fewer safety concerns than live trees, they are not entirely risk free. Even fake trees can catch fire when sockets are overloaded with Christmas lights and yes, flame-resistant artificial trees can eventually ignite as well.
If you plan on having an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. If using a pre-lit tree, always follow the instructions and put the tree in an open area where a fire won’t quickly spread to furniture and other flammable items nearby.
If you choose to celebrate the holidays with a live tree in your home, be sure the needles are fresh and don’t easily fall off. Fill the stand with water regularly, as this is the best way to prevent a fire. The drier the tree becomes, the more dangerous it is. Don’t overload your tree with lights and flammable decorations.
Christmas Tree Fire Facts: According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2010 and 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 210 house fires that began with Christmas trees. These fires resulted in an annual average of:
- 6 deaths
- 16 fire related injuries
- $16.2 million in property damage
Tips to prevent Christmas tree fires:
- Place the tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fire places, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- If using lights on your Christmas tree, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose ball connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in lights.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.