Tips to prevent fires when putting up a Christmas tree


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and lights on a Christmas tree bring the holiday spirit, but it’s more than just turning on the lights that can be a danger to your home.

Operations Chief for Columbia County Fire Rescue, Danny Kuhlmann, says, “remember this time of the year you’re bringing an added fuel load into your house.”

That added fuel load is commonly known as a Christmas tree, which is a cause for a fire during the holiday season 25% of the time.

It sounds like a small number, but it is still something you want to avoid.

“If you have a live tree, you want to at least check the water for 48 hours, you don’t want to let it go for more than two days,” says Chief Kuhlmann.

Trees shown off in the window is ideal, but you want to check the ceiling before you choose your location. After all, fires are caused in dry conditions.

“You don’t want to put it underneath a hvac vent that blows down on the tree, it would accelerate the drying out process,” says Chief Kuhlmann.

LED lights are key, because they don’t use up as much power, but the amount of lights can potentially overload your circuit, even if it’s a multi-power circuit.

“You don’t want to use extension chords. If you have to use an extension chord, we want you to us a heavy duty UL approved extension chord, not the light duty real cheap extension chords,” says Chief Kuhlmann.

Around the holidays, there’s family, there’s cooking, and a lot of distractions. NewsChannel 6 asked Chief Kuhlmann, the easiest way to detect if something is off.

“Smoke detector, smoke detector, smoke detector. That’s going to be your cheapest insurance policy, and your earliest warning device is the smoke detector,” says Chief Kuhlmann.

Make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries, they’re vacuumed out at least every six months, and are fully functional, becaus ein the event of a fire.

“Get out call 9-1-1. You want to have a meeting place, especially if you live down a long driveway or something, you want to make sure that the family understands where to meet once they get out,” says Chief Kuhlmann.

Another potential risk for a fire is an open flame in your home. If you’re decorating with candles this season, it is recommended that you use flameless candles.

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