Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Winter holiday fire facts

  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home Christmas tree fires.

  • More than two of every five (42%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room. Five percent were chimney or flue fires. One-fifth (21%) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen. Sixteen percent started in the living room, family room or den.

  • Half (51%) of December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to one-third (32%) in January to November.

Christmas trees

  • Between 2014-2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of two deaths, 14 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually.


  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half (45%) of home Christmas tree fires.

  • More than one-fifth (22%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.

  • Fifteen percent of Christmas tree fires were intentional.

  • Roughly three-quarters of Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January.

  • More than two of every five (42%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.

Christmas tree & decoration fires

Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer. Between 2014-2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 770 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees.



Christmas tree disposal Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. More than one-quarter (29%) of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious.

For more information or if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Guilford Office of THe Fire Marshal at 203-453-8056.

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