Detroit Fire Department Urges Residents to take 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.

Media Contact
Captain Chris Dixon
(313) 596-2968