Tis the season to be jolly and many of us are dressing our homes with an assortment of decorations to get into the holiday spirit.

For many of us, this means going out and picking the perfect Christmas tree to serve as the centerpiece for our holiday festivities.

Unfortunately, Christmas trees are the fuel for hundreds of fires each holiday season. Therefore, we want to share some fire safety tips to ensure that you all have a safe and happy holiday.

If you’re getting a live Christmas tree…

  • Always check for freshness when purchasing your live tree. The needles on fresh trees are green, hard to pull from branches and not prone to break when bent.
  • Old trees can be identified by tapping the base of the tree on the ground: if a lot of needles fall off, then the tree is likely too dry and may be easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
  • Make sure your tree is mounted securely in a large, wide based reservoir stand.
  • Check the water levels on a daily basis to ensure that the tree is well-watered at all times.
  • Do not place the tree near any heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators or heating vents. This will dry the tree out faster, making it more susceptible to catching fire.
  • Be sure not to put your live Christmas tree up too early; it is not recommended to leave live Christmas trees up for more than two weeks.
  • When it comes time to discard your tree, take it down to a recycling center or have it picked up by a community pick-up service. Do not put tree branches or needles into the fireplace or wood-burning stove.

If you are going for an artificial Christmas tree…

  • Make sure your tree is flame-retardant.
  • If you get a pre-lit artificial tree, check to see if it is UL-certified; this indicates that the tree has been tested by Underwriters Laboratories and has met their safety requirements. You can typically find the UL-approval on the tree’s light string near the plug.
  • Before you decorate your artificial tree, make sure you check for any loose, damaged, or exposed parts and wiring that may cause injury or spark a fire.

Do you plan on getting a live or fake Christmas tree this year?

Feel free to share any additional Christmas tree fire safety tips in the comments section below!

We hope you have a happy holiday season!!