Posted by Jill Lind on Dec 03, 2018
Amongst many, one of the joys this season is decorating our homes with beautiful lights, candles and Christmas trees. Festive decorations can enhance our holiday spirit; however, they can be fire hazards if not properly placed and maintained in your home. The Trophy Club Fire Department strongly encourages all citizens to keep safety in mind while decorating. Below is information on holiday décor fires, and how you can keep safety in mind this season. Trophy Club Fire Department will be making their own video on how quickly a dry Christmas tree catches fire.
**Please join the fire department on December 6th, at 6:00 pm, at the fire station for the demonstration. If you can’t make it, keep an eye out for the video!
Between 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 170 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 4 deaths, 15 injuries, and $12 million in direct property damage annually.
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 800 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2012-2016. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries and $11 million in direct property damage.
Picking Your Tree
- If you’re picking a live tree, choose one that has fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- If an artificial tree comes with built-in lights, look for the UL certification symbol. That signifies it's been tested to meet industry-accepted safety standards.
- Additional quick tips here!
Setting Up Your Tree
- 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.
- If you have a real tree, add water to the tree stand daily. A dry tree will consume a room with fire within seconds.
- “A dry tree can catch fire and burn faster than the newspaper.” - U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
- This video from the Consumer Product Safety Commission demonstrates the importance of a well-watered tree.
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Use lights in areas they are specifically made for.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect. There are limits.
- Do not overload power strips or outlets. This can cause a fire.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- More than a third of home decoration fires are started by candles.
- Keep candles on a sturdy surface, and out of reach of children and pets.
- Always blow out candles when leaving the room and going to bed.
- Have at least one foot clearance around a candle. The more cleared area, the better!
- Learn more here!
Wishing all a safe, and wonderful holiday season!
Information obtained from