Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

Christmas Tree Safety

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Many of us think that caring for your Christmas tree just takes a little common sense – but it doesn’t hurt to review a few safety tips. The National Fire Protection Association reports almost 200 homes go up in flames every year as a direct result of Christmas trees.

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. To help your natural tree from drying out, water the tree daily. Here are some more important tips:

Location of the tree

  • 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.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the natural tree after Christmas. 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.

Download these NFPA safety tips on Christmas trees. (PDF, 1 MB)


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