Colorful decorations are a great way to get into the holiday spirit, but they also raise your risk of home fires. The number of fires linked to holiday décor increases every year.
Traditional Christmas preparation generally includes decking the halls and a healthy round of “O Christmas Tree.” Since many of us are not able to fathom a holiday season without a beautiful, trimmed tree to place our gifts under, we need to do more to make sure our homes are safe from unnecessary fire dangers during this time.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that 240 home fires each year
involve Christmas trees. Of those fires, one in 18 is deadly. Another 150 fires are relate
to holiday lights. Together, Christmas trees and lights cause about $25.2 million in direct
property damage each year. These are staggering statistics and definitely play a role in raising homeowners insurance rates

Preventing a fire in your home doesn’t mean you have to implement a firm no-decorating rule. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when you deck the halls and trim the tree.

  • If you choose to have a live tree, keep it well-watered. A dry and neglected tree can easily be the cause of your home going up in flames. Additionally, do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
  • Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.
  • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the year insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
  • Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet
  • Do not leave holiday lights on or leave a burning candle unattended.
  • All not leave holiday on or leave a leave a burning candle unattended.
  • All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.

When choosing live tree over an artificial tree, make sure to dispose of the tree promptly. The best way to dispose of the tree is to take it to a recycling center or have it hauled away by away by a community pick-up service.

Implement these safety tips in your home today can help ensure a safe and merry holiday season for all. For more information or help with other questions, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department Consumer Assistance Team at 1-800-522-0071.