Although Christmas tree fires aren’t common, they can grow very fast and cause significant human and property damage.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas tree fires cause an average of two deaths, 12 injuries and $10 million in direct property damage each year.
So, it’s important to take precautions during and after the holidays.
Christmas tree safety during the holidays
Here are some safety protocols to consider putting in place, even if you’ve had your Christmas tree on display for a while now.
Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source. This includes fireplaces, radiators, flame candles, heat vents and lights.
Don’t block an exit with your Christmas tree. If a fire or other emergency occurs, your family might need an alternative exit path to remain safe.
Continue to add water to your tree stand every day. A well-watered Christmas tree burns at a much slower rate than a dried-out tree.
Watch this NFPA demonstration that shows a dried-out Christmas tree catching fire versus a well-watered tree.
Christmas tree disposal safety tips
The holidays are a busy time, but it’s important to properly dispose of your Christmas tree once it begins to dry out or after the holidays when you no longer use it.
The NFPA states that approximately 30% of Christmas tree fires take place in January. This is because dried-out Christmas trees become more and more flammable over time, causing a serious fire risk.
So, the longer you keep one in your home, the more of a fire hazard it becomes.
Here are some quick disposal tips to remember come January:
Don’t leave your tree in your home or garage longer than necessary.
Don’t place or lean your tree outside against a structure.
Check with your local community to find a Christmas tree recycling program. You might have access to free drop-off locations or be able to arrange for yard waste pick-up services.
Research smart ways to recycle your Christmas tree into habitat areas for wildlife or use them as mulch for your own gardens.
For more holiday safety tips, check out our blog on fire prevention and COVID precautions.