WFD: Christmas Tree Safety Tips

News & Updates


Michael Contaxis

1st Assistant Chief Warwick Fire Department

Fire Prevention Chairman of the WFD


As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly. The Warwick Fire Department would like to pass on the following safety tips:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.  
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. 
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit. 
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily. Lighting the tree 
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. 
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect. 
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree. 
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.


Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.


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