Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Miami, Florida

Miami Personal Injury Blog

Get a free consultation now

Christmas Tree Fires: How Common Are They?

Christmas Tree Fires: How Common Are They?

Every Christmas, there are people who experience tragedy on a day that is supposed to be about joy and celebration. When Christmas tree fires break out in the home, the results can be devastating and deadly. While the number of these tragic incidents is not statistically large, for the families affected by Christmas tree fires, these incidents can define the holidays for years to come.

House fires caused by Christmas trees are often preventable. However, the busyness of the season and the festive atmosphere can cause people to forget basic safety precautions. Many Christmas tree fires involve live trees, but owners of artificial trees should also take care so as not to endanger their friends and family.

Christmas Tree Fire Statistics

Research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides a detailed picture of the danger Christmas tree fires pose. According to NFPA, about 160 house fires occur annually as a result of a Christmas tree catching fire. The number of these fires has trended down from 280 fires in 2007 to 180 fires in 2020.

Nearly three-fourths of all Christmas tree fires happen in December and January. These events take both a financial and a human toll. According to NFPA, approximately two individuals die, and 11 more are injured every year in fires involving Christmas trees. About $12 million in property damage also occurs.

How do Christmas trees catch fire? According to NFPA statistics, nearly one-half of all Christmas tree fires are the result of electrical or lighting equipment failures. Only about 15% of these fires happen because of a tree exposed to nearby heating equipment. Thus, both artificial and real Christmas tree fires are a possibility.

Keeping Your Family Safe This Christmas Season

Following basic safety tips offered by insurers and others can help reduce the risk of a Christmas tree fire and ensure your family and loved ones enjoy a happy holiday season. First, if you have a live Christmas tree, be mindful that it can dry out, and those dry needles are extremely flammable. Keep the tree well-watered and clean up any dry needles right away.

Inspect your light strands, electrical cords, and electrical sockets for signs of wear and tear. Replace any strands with exposed wiring or that show signs of discoloration, as this can be caused by excessive heat. Do not overload a wall outlet with too many electrical devices, as this can increase the risk of a fire. 

Last, you should keep any Christmas tree, real or artificial, away from sources of fire and heat. This includes space heaters and fireplaces, which can suddenly cause Christmas trees to catch fire with little warning. Make sure that there is plenty of space between your Christmas tree and these devices, especially considering that flying embers from a fireplace can also pose a fire risk.

Keep an eye on your Christmas tree at all times to reduce the risk of a fire spreading quickly without notice. If you do see that a fire is starting and you can safely extinguish it, do so using an extinguisher that is rated for the type of fire you are dealing with. If you are not able to battle the fire, get everyone out of the house and call the fire department from a safe location.

An Ounce of Prevention Can Prevent a Deadly Fire

Do not let the risk of fire hinder your holiday celebrations. With some precautions, a Christmas tree can be a safe and eye-catching holiday decoration for all to enjoy. However, if you ignore obvious dangers and take unreasonable risks, tragedies can happen.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Miami, FL

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Miami, FL and need legal help, contact our Miami personal injury lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers
20900 NE 30th Ave Suite 715
Aventura, FL 33180
(305) 937-0191