Christmas tree lighting safety tips

Christmas is the IT season for lights. Houses, streets, lamp posts, windows, everything is decorated and shiny, but when it comes to the Christmas lights we have in our homes, we have to be a bit more careful.

Image credit: flickr User:  Samantha Maher
Image credit: flickr User: Samantha Maher

Sadly, the number of reported fires during the season of jolly and joy is higher than it should be. The main cause for these fires is Christmas lights.

So, if you don’t want your Christmas tree to go up in flames, you have to be very careful with the type of tree and the type of lights you plan on decorating your home with.

“We recommend you go with an artificial tree,” says HFD Captain Roy Lozano, “but we also want you to look at the tag and make sure it’s fire retardant.”

However, according to an article featured on My Fox Houston, many people discard the safety tips issued by the firefighters and make the same mistakes year after year.

In some cases the cause is not human error, but faulty equipment. The markets are flooded with lights that carry fake safety inspection marks. This means that they have not been properly tested and could pose a fire hazard.

Here are some very useful safety- tips that will ensure you have a merry, fire-safe holiday season:

–          If you want to have a real tree for Christmas, you must not let it dry out. Make sure to water the tree regularly.

–          If you want to reuse last year’s pre-lit artificial tree or lights, you have to check all the wires and make sure that the copper is not exposed.

–          If the lights you plan on using need to be replaced, do it right away or buy new ones.

–          Make sure the lights are Underwriter Laboratory Certified.

–          Make sure your tree stand is strong enough to hold your tree.

–          Do not place the tree near heat sources, such as radiatiors or fireplaces.

–          If you’re a pet owner- take the cords seriously since pets can chew the cords and get burned or electrocuted.

–          When it’s time to water the tree, unplug the lights temporarily.

–          Unplug the lights before you go to bed or leave your home.

–          Place the tree near a power outlet.

–          Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use tree lights.

–          Do not use strings of lights with worn, frayed or broken cords or loose bulb connections.


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