Christmas Decorations Fire Safety Tips

Detroit Fire Department urges Christmas Decorations Fire Safety  Precautions

While people experience the joy of the Christmas season, the Detroit Fire Department warns residents about the potential fire hazards of Christmas decorations and urges them to take precautions to ensure that their families remain safe this season.


Christmas Trees

If you choose to buy a natural tree, look for a fresh tree.  Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire than older trees.  When purchasing a fresh tree, please do the following:

  • Make a 1” cut at base of tree.
  • Check tree for dryness.  Needles of a fresh tree will bend as opposed to breaking in half.
  • Place tree firmly in a stand with plenty of room for water.
  • Check water level daily and add if needed.
  • Keep tree at least three feet away from any space heaters or other heat sources.
  • Check electrical cords for wear and outlets for overloading.
  • Never leave a lighted tree unattended.
  • Don’t let tree block exits or stairs.
  • Never use lights or electrical products to decorate a metal or aluminum tree.
  • Keep live and artificial trees away from open flames (e.g. fireplaces, candles).


Decorative Lights

When using lights on a tree, be sure to:

  • Inspect for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
  • Don’t use more than three strings of lights on one extension cord.
  • Never run cords under carpet.
  • Turn off the tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Only use UL-approved (Underwriter’s Laboratory) lights and cords.



If you are using candles, remember to:

  • Keep burning candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Teach children not to touch burning candles.
  • Don’t place candles near draperies or combustible items (furniture, paper, and clothing, etc.).
  • If you leave the room or the home, extinguish all flames.
  • Place candles in sturdy, non-combustible holders.

For more information about Christmas fire safety, contact the Detroit Fire Marshal Division at (313) 596-2968.


Check the Halls for Holiday Safety!

Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest from late November to mid-January, when families decorate to celebrate the season. This holiday season, when you hang the lights and light the candles, take some basic precautions to ensure your family remains safe throughout this holiday season.

Decorate Safely

Did you start decorating for the holidays?  It’s fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. Enjoy the festivities while staying clear of fire hazards! Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. Actually, the top three days of the year for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year's Eve. As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart.

  • Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires. Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.
  • Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.