Christmas Tree Safety

In Holidays, Home Insurance, Personal Insurance by Kristin Guglielmo

If you haven’t already, you’ll be putting up your Christmas Tree very soon.  We want to make sure you properly care for your tree and avoid any potential fire risks associated with Christmas Trees. We found some valuable information from National Fire Protection Association that states, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 210 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees in 2010-2014.

These fires caused an annual average of:

6 civilian fire deaths,  16 civilian fire injuries, and  $16.2 million in direct property damage

On average, one of every 34 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.

More than two of every five Christmas tree fires (43%) were in December. More than one-third (37%) were in January.Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are much more likely to be deadly than most other fires.

In one-quarter (26%) of the Christmas tree fires and 80% of the deaths, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.

Electrical failures or malfunctions were also factors in one-quarter (26%) of Christmas tree fires.

Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December and January. Of the 10 days with the largest shares of Christmas tree fires, none were before Christmas.

Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December and January.

Leading causes of Christmas tree fires

Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in one-third (35%) of home Christmas tree fires.

Eighteen percent of home Christmas tree fires involved decorative lights.

Wiring or related equipment was involved in 11%.

Cords or plugs were involved in 4%.

Twenty-three percent of Christmas tree fires were intentional. More than half of these intentional fires occurred in January.

Heating equipment was involved in 15%.

Ten percent of Christmas tree fires were started by someone playing with fire.

Candles started 8% of home Christmas tree structure fires.

Leading areas of origin

Almost two of every five (38%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den. All of the fatalities and three-quarters of the injuries resulted from fires started in this area.

Seven percent were chimney or flue fires.

Be safe and enjoy your Holidays

Insurance Provider Group

Source: NFPA Website