Winter holiday safety
NFPA provides a wealth of safety information to help ensure the holiday season is a safe one.
Festive celebrations, flickering lights and winter greens are hallmarks of the holiday season, but they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this festive time of year into a devastating one. NFPA works to educate the public about potential fire risks during the holidays, offering tip sheets, videos, and other resources to help everyone safely enjoy the season.
Winter holiday fires by the numbers
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43% of home Christmas tree fires.
- Two of every five (40%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den. Three-quarters of the fatalities and two-thirds of the associated injuries resulted from fires started in this area.
- The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year's Eve.
- See more statistics on winter holiday fires.
Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.
Download our safety tip sheet.
As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.
Download our safety tip sheet.
Give the gift of fire safety with these colorful gift tags. Duplicate the tags and distribute to residents to use with their gift-giving.
Download the gift tags.
Our Christmas tree tags provide important fire safety information. Make copies of the tags and ask local retailers to distribute with every tree sold.
Download the Christmas tree tags.
Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer. Between 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 170 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 800 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees.
In the throes of holiday shopping and decorating? Check out the 9 Ways You’re a Holiday Decorating Disaster.
Christmas tree disposal
Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasing flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. One-third 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.
A live Christmas tree burn conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows just how quickly a dried out Christmas tree fire burns, with flashover occurring in less than one minute, as compared to a well-watered tree, which burns at a much slower rate.
- "Home Structure Fires Involving Decorations," NFPA, December 2017
- 2018 edition of NFPA 1 addresses Christmas trees.
- Statistical fact sheet on Christmas trees and holiday lights (PDF)
- UL white paper: Reducing the Fire Hazard of Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Trees
Put a Freeze on Winter Fires
NFPA and USFA team up each year for "Put A Freeze on Winter Fires" to remind you that the winter months are the leading time of year for home fires. To help you stay safe, we’re providing a wealth of safety tips and information on cooking, heating, candles and holiday decorating – factors that contribute to the increased risk of home fires in the months ahead.
For kids and families
Whether you are looking for coloring pages, activity sheets or e-cards, we have what you need to keep you fire-safe this holiday season.
In 2016, the three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking were: Thanksgiving, Christmas day and Christmas Eve. That's why it's important to know what you can do to help keep your friends and family safe while entertaining for the holidays. Also, read NFPA's blog post on Martha Stewart's website - 8 Simple Fire Safety Tips We all Need to Follow This Holiday Season.
It's time to deck the halls, but follow NFPA's simple safety tips to help keep yourself and your family and friends safer from fire.
NFPA's lovable Dan Doofus shows you how to have a fire-safe holiday with a few simple safety tips.
While many subscribe to the theory any fried food is good – even if it's not necessarily good for you – there is reason to be on alert if you're thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002. CPSC says 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.
NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer.
Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis & Research Division
NFPA joins CPSC to demonstrate the fire dangers of turkey fryers in this live burn. NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers.