As you deck the halls this holiday season, be aware of the dangers that come with holiday decorations. Although Christmas tree fires are not very common, a small fire that involves a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly. US fire departments respond to an average of 230 home structure fires per year that started with Christmas trees. One out of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems and one in every five is the result of a heat source too close to the tree.
We at NFPA want you to have a happy and safe holiday season. We recommend some simple tips to help you avoid a Christmas tree fire:
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- If you have an artificial tree make sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Visit NFPA’s Project Holiday website, where you can find more information and helpful tips on Christmas tree and decoration safety!-Anice Barbosa