The Twelve Days of Fire Hazards of Christmas

Trees, candles, Christmas lights all lead to fires each holiday season. A quick scan of these tips, starting with watering your tree to keep the needles from getting brittle, could make a difference.

By Leslie Yager

Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations help to make the season bright but they can also be fire hazards.

Fires involving trees or candles lead to more than 130 deaths per year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Those fires also result in more than $375 million in property damage annually.

Amica Insurance is sharing the following tips from the CPSC to help prevent fires during the holidays: 

  • When choosing a tree, find one that’s fresh. Fresh trees have needles that are hard to remove from branches and don’t break when bent between two fingers.
  • Position the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators. To keep the tree from drying out and becoming a fire risk, water it frequently.
  • Examine all lights for cracks, frayed wires or loose connections. Throw away any damaged lights, and never put electric lights on metallic trees.
  • Use candles sparingly, and never leave them unattended. When leaving the room or house, even for a short time, extinguish all candles.
  • Put candles on heat-resistant surfaces that can’t be reached by children or pets. Also, keep candles far away from trees, other decorations and curtains, which can all ignite and burn easily.


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