Keep live trees away from heat sources.
Place your tree away from fireplaces and heaters, and keep a fire extinguisher near your tree. Live trees are highly flammable, due to needles and sap.
- Hydrate your tree.
A dried-out tree can catch fire faster than one that has been properly watered. Check the water level every other day to ensure proper hydration. Starting with a green tree is one way to keep it from drying out so quickly.
- Fake it!
If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.” Fire-resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.
- Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
Paper can catch fire very quickly and can cause flash fires. Instead, recycle (or better yet, reuse!) your wrapping paper.
- Work as a team.
When stringing lights and decorations above your normal reach, make sure you use a proper ladder with someone supporting the base.
- Double-check your lights for safety.
Replace any lights with frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections.
- Power down before you turn in.
Turn off all lights when you go to bed and before leaving the house to avoid a short that could start an electrical fire.
- Prevent electrical cord damage.
Don’t mount lights in a way that might damage the cords, and avoid using nails or tacks. Use hooks or insulated staples instead.
- Secure candles.
Keep candles on a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Use unbreakable ornaments.
If you have fragile ornament, place them out of reach from pets and kids.
- Skip the fake food.
Avoid decorations that look like candy or food if you have young children — or pets — in the house.