The U.S. Fire Administration is reminding people to keep their Christmas trees, and homes safe this holiday season. The group says there are some basic safety rules that can protect your family, including keeping candles at least one foot away from anything that burns, including the tree. Water your tree every day, as dry trees can catch on fire easily.
This dramatic video demonstrates what happens when fire touches a dry tree and a properly maintained, well-watered tree:
Keep the tree at least three feet away from heat sources, like fireplaces, space heaters, or heat vents. Also remember to turn out the lights before you go to bed.
Candle Safety Tips:
Winter holiday fire facts:
- U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of one civilian fire death, 26 civilian fire injuries and $13 million in direct property damage.
- Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in more than two in five home Christmas tree fires.
- Nearly one in five Christmas tree fires were started by lamps or bulbs. Six percent were started by candles.
- Roughly two of every five home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.
- Candle fires peak in December and January with 11 percent of candle fires in each of these months.
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
- Year round, more than one-third (35 percent) of home decoration fires were started by candles. This jumped to almost half in December when candles started 45 percent of such fires. Cooking started one-fifth (19%) of decoration fires.
Source: NFPA’s Applied Research