Between 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 6 deaths, 16 injuries, and $16.2 million in direct property damage annually.
Overall, Christmas tree fires fell a total of 80% from a high of 850 in 1980 to 170 in 2014, the lowest point in the available estimates.
On average, one of every 34 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.
Some type of electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in one-third (35%) of home Christmas tree fires.
Twenty-three percent of Christmas tree fires were intentional.
Forty-three percent of reported home Christmas tree fires occurred in December and 37% were reported in January.
Two of every five (38%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den.
The risk of fire is higher with natural trees than artificial ones. Researchers found that dry natural trees burned easily but trees that had been kept moist are unlikely to catch fire unintentionally.
Christmas Tree Safety:
* Christmas tree safety tips actually start prior to purchasing the tree you are looking to buy. As a reminder choose a tree that is fresh with green needles that do not fall off when you touch the tree.
* Once you have purchased your tree and bring it home please remember to water the tree daily. A dried-out tree with lights on the tree can easily catch on fire.
* When you place lights on the tree please check Christmas lights for exposed wires and missing bulbs. These are all hazards and the lights should not be placed on a tree when these, hazards exists.
* For artificial and real trees, Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
* Remember when leaving your house please turn off the lights on the tree.
* Make sure your tree is not blocking any entrances or exits to your home in case of a fire.
Get rid of the 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 or a day of pick up.
Happy Holidays from the Willingboro Fire Department. Stay Safe