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Tips for trees, candles and lights.

 

Reviewed 10/13/2021

Avoid holiday fires

Tips for trees, candles and lights.

Trees

160 home fires involving Christmas trees occur each year.

To avoid fire:

  • Choose a fresh tree. Look for green needles that are hard to pull from branches and don't break when bent. The trunk should be sticky.
  • Take the tree down after the holiday. Don't burn it in a fireplace or stove.
  • Keep the tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heat can dry out a tree and make it more flammable.
  • Water the tree daily.

Candles

7,610 home fires involving candles are reported each year (December is the peak month for candle fires).

To avoid fire:

  • Place candles where they can't be knocked down or blown over.
  • Consider using battery-operated candles instead of real ones.
  • Keep candles away from flammable decorations (including trees).
  • Extinguish candles when you leave the room.
  • Use nonflammable candle holders.

Lights

770 home fires involving decorations occur each year.

To avoid fire:

  • Check new and old lights for broken sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Dispose of damaged lights.
  • Make sure outdoor lights are certified for that use.
  • Choose decoration that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
  • Turn lights off before you go to bed or leave the house.

Sources: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; U.S. Fire Administration

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The information found in the Health Library is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it represent the views or position of WHMC. Readers should always consult with their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including for specific medical needs.