A homeowners’ insurance policy covers fire in and around your home, including a Christmas tree fire.
And although data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicates Christmas tree fires aren’t common, they can be deadly.
Between 2014 and 2018, U.S. firefighters responded to an average of 160 home fires a year that started with Christmas trees, the NFPA says. These blazes caused an average of two deaths, 14 injuries, and $10 million in property damage each year.
During the 2014 to 2018 timeframe, 45% of home Christmas tree fires involved electrical or lighting equipment, according to the NFPA.
Two of the simplest ways to keep your home free from fire dangers during the holiday season are to make sure your smoke alarms are working correctly and to put up an artificial tree only if it is fire rated.
The NFPA offers these additional recommendations for preventing your home from becoming a fire scene:
- Pick a live one. Look for a tree with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when you touch them. Before placing your tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk.
- Keep some distance. Place your tree at least 3 feet away from any source of heat, such as radiators, heating vents, lights, candles, and fireplaces.
- Stay hydrated. Add water each day to the stand for a live tree.
- Use quality lights. Only use tree lights that carry the label of a qualified testing laboratory. Keep in mind, some lights are for indoor use only.
- Inspect your lights. Replace strings of lights that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Never decorate your tree with lit candles.
- Turn off the lights before you leave your home or go to bed.
- Get rid of your tree. Dispose of your live tree after Christmas or when it dries out. Do not put it in your garage or placed outside against your home. Dried out trees are a fire hazard.
- Take down your lights. Bring your outdoor lights inside after the holiday season to reduce fire risk and make your lights last longer.
Lastly, be careful when climbing a ladder to hang Christmas lights and decorations. Falls lead to thousands of holiday-decorating injuries each year.
If you want to review your home insurance coverages or are interested in saving by bundling your home and car, just let us know here. We’re here to help make the holidays merry and bright.