Christmas Tree Safety Tips and Burn Demonstration← Back

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) each year, fire departments in the U.S. respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Carefully decorating Christmas trees can help make your holidays safer.

Picking the tree

  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1–2” 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.

***As an added safety precaution we recommend adding a smoke detector in the room where the Christmas tree is located***

Decorating the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Pick flame-resistant decorations

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Home Holiday Fire Facts

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)

  • One of every three Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems
  • On average, 1 of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly 1 in every 6 of Christmas tree fires
  • More than half (56 percent) of home candle fires occur when they are placed too close to something that can burn
  • December is the peak time of the year for home candle fires

“Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives” can see more of our demonstration videos here on our YouTube channel.

For more information about St. Tammany Fire Protection District #1 visit us at or follow us on Facebook - St. Tammany Fire District #1 and Twitter - @SlidellFire_PIO

Chad Duffaut

Chief of Fire Prevention/PIO

Cell:  (985) 960-0976

Home | About Us | Public Awareness | Divisions | Local Information | Photo Album | News | Contact
┬ęCopyright 2015 St. Tammany Fire Protection District 1