• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

Area Info

San Tan Valley Area Information

2 minutes reading time (419 words)

Christmas Tree Safety


The aroma of fresh cut pine wafting through the house. Bright green needles contrasting with the twinkle of lights, ornaments, garland, and tinsel. Hiding amongst the beauty, wonder, and mystic is a dark and dangerous hazard. A fire hazard to be exact. 

Between 2013-2017, U.S. Fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires attributed to a Christmas tree as the point of origin. Annually, fires caused by Christmas trees result in 3 fatalities, 15 injuries, and $10 Million in property damages. Most of these fires occurring in December and January. 

The leading cause of tree fires was electrical or lighting equipment, cords, and plugs. Other causes included heating equipment, candles, or someone playing with fire.

Follow these tips to stay safe this season.

Picking a Tree:
  • Remember trees may have been cut days or weeks in advance, so look for one with good coloring. More green, less brown.
  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. 
  • Consider a fake tree. Fake trees pose less of a fire hazard. Plus, a pre-lit tree saves time! 

Placing the Tree:
  • Remove about 2" from the stump to allow the tree to absorb water easily
  • Mark sure the tree is a least three feet from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, heat vents, candles, or lights. 
  • Check light strands for broken bulbs, cracked or broken wires and plugs. 
  • Check the manufactures recommendations for the safe number of strands to join 
  • NEVER use lit candles to decorate a tree 
  • Always turn off Christmas Tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. 

Lighting the tree:
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. For instance, UL listed. Make sure to use indoor lights and outdoor lights appropriately
  • Use a surge protector and never overload a single outlet. 

After Christmas:
  • Properly dispose of you tree after Christmas. Remember, the longer your tree is up the more it becomes a hazard as it dries out.
  • Dried out trees are an extreme fire hazard 
  • Check your community for a tree recycling program 
  • Don't Ditch you tree! Don't leave your tree in the desert, ally way, side of your house, or illegal dump it. This creates a fire hazard! 
  • Chop it up and put it in the trash or chip it for mulch. 
  • Collect a few trees from the neighbors and split the cost of taking them to the landfill 

Rural Metro Fire, our hometown firefighters wish all who celebrate a safe and healthy Christmas.
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