Grand Traverse Metro Fire Dept. Offers Christmas Tree Safety Tips

While you decorate for the holiday season, don’t forget to make safety a priority when it comes to Christmas trees.

Fire departments across the country respond to an average of 230 house fires caused by Christmas trees every year.

The Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department says you should be sure to turn the lights and other decorations off before leaving your home or going to bed.

It’s also important to make sure you are watering your tree regularly.

“By adding the Christmas tree to your home as a decoration, it’s adding a huge fuel load to your house,” said Lieutenant Kyle Clute from Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that obviously Christmas is in December, but about the same amount of Christmas trees fires occur in January as well because people keep their tree up a little longer than they should.”

Other safety tips:

  • In case of emergency, do not block any exits with decorations.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Test smoke alarms and tell guest about your home fire escape plan.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Add water to the tree stand, and add to it daily.
  • Never use candles to decorate the tree.