Holiday Fire Safety: A Guide

Keep your family safe from fire hazards this holiday season

It’s that joyous time of year once again—where houses are littered with Christmas décor and string lights, creating a happy aesthetic for you and your guests. As exciting as this time can be, there are also hazards surrounding your decorations.

During the winter season, fires can erupt for a number of reasons, so let’s break it down:

  • 35% of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment
  • 20% of decoration fires start in the kitchen
  • 17% start in the living room

All of these sections are both large traffic areas in most homes. The top three days for fires caused by candles are Christmas, New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve. What do all these statistics mean? Simply put, people are truly risking their homes when they use Christmas decorations improperly or choose faulty equipment.


  • Instead of using real candles, choose battery-operated, flameless candles for a similar effect, without the fire risk.
  • If you do use a candle or anything else that can burn, make sure there is a space of at least 12 inches that has nothing surrounding it.
  • When using an outlet, be sure not to overload the plus with too many things at once (to avoid pulling a Clark Griswold and causing a spark.)
  • If you have a real tree, make sure you’re adding water every day to avoid drying the tree out too much.
  • Read the packaging on holiday lights so you know how many you can connect (usually a limit.)
  • Replace any string lights that have worn or broken—these can start fires.

Keeping your own safety in mind and those around you is key to a cheery holiday season. Creating a warm and festive home that is also free from any hazards is as easy as following this simple guide. When you start decorating your home, make sure you’re always paying close attention to instructions and placement. And lastly, from our family to yours, happy holidays from Columbia Fire!