Salisbury Fire Department

Press Releases

Christmas tree Safety
Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

MMany folks will choose a live tree as their Christmas tree this year.  It’s fun heading out to find that perfect tree, cutting it, bringing it home, and decorating it.  The aroma a real tree provides is perfect for the time of year, as well.  However, real trees are not “set and forget”, as are artificial trees.  As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.

Some fire facts for you to consider: 

One of every three Christmas tree fires is electrical in nature.

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they tend to be serious in nature when they do occur.

One in every four Christmas tree fires is caused by the tree being too close to a heat source.


Here are a few tips provided by the NFPA that can help you enjoy your live tree to its fullest during the holiday season. 

Picking the tree:

Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree:

Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.

Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree:

Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor

or outdoor use.

Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read

manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas:

Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it becomes dry.  Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage.  Nor should they be placed against the home outdoors.  Check with your local community to find a recycling program.  Bring outdoor electrical lights inside making sure they are dry.  Store them properly once dry.  This will reduce the hazard factor and make your lights last longer, saving you money.

For more information, visit

The Salisbury Fire Department wishes you Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a very Merry Christmas.  May your holidays be the best, and safest, ever!