Christmas Tree Safety


  • When decorating Christmas trees, always use safe tree lights. Some lights are designed for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Larger tree lights should also have some type of reflector rather than a bare bulb, and all lights should be listed by a testing laboratory.
  • Never use electric lights on a metal tree.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to use tree lights. Any string of lights with worn, frayed, or broken cords or loose bulb connections should not always be used.
  • Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to sleep.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and place candles well away from tree branches.
  • Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily. Do not purchase a tree that is dry or dropping needles. (See Choosing a Christmas Tree.)
  • Choose a sturdy tree stand designed not to tip over.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, be sure to choose one that is labeled fire-retardant.
  • Children are fascinated with Christmas lights. Keep a watchful eye on them when around the tree. Do not let them play with lights.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, and try to position it near an outlet so cords aren't running long distances.
  • Do not place trees where they will block exits.
  • Safely dispose of trees when they begin to drop needles. Dried out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house or garage or placed against a house.


For more information on Christmas tree safety, contact the Fire Department at 617-972-6512.