Christmas Tree Fire Damage

Christmas tree fires are one of the leading causes of home fires during the holidays; here’s how to avoid costly fire damage in your home.

Christmas tree fire damage.

Don’t let your Christmas tree cause fire damage in your home.

Along with joy, love, peace, and hope, the holiday season can bring extra fire hazards into your household. You might be busy hanging lights, baking cookies, and placing presents under the tree, but all of this can go up in flames (literally) in a matter of seconds if you don’t take proper precautions when it comes to Christmas tree safety.


  • Place your tree three feet away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
  • Make sure the tree isn’t blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand daily. See what the difference is for yourself:


  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and ensure they are for indoor use.
  • Replace any strings of lights with worn, frayed, or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Needles can also get stuck in empty light sockets and create a potential fire hazard.
  • The manufacturer’s instructions should indicate the number of light strands you are able to connect, but typically no more than three strands should be connected.
  • Do not use lit candles to decorate the tree. 25% of Christmas tree fires are because a candle or other heat source is too close to the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • You might already have a problem with the cat knocking off ornaments, but make sure your pets aren’t chewing, pawing, or damaging the lights, or knocking your tree over onto a heat source.


  • Dispose of your tree after Christmas, or when your tree starts to dry out (about a month after it’s cut). Dropped needles are a sign of a dried-out tree.
  • Dried out trees are very flammable, and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Check with your local garbage service provider for specific directions on how to dispose of your tree properly. Pierce County residents, check the Pierce County website for “treecycling” instructions.

As always, test your smoke alarms and ensure that they are properly located and in working order. If your home does end up suffering from fire damage, call the experts at ServiceMaster of Tacoma for quick fire restoration services.