The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported there is an estimated annual average of 210 home structure fires that begin with Christmas trees.

Analysis also shows that although the number of Christmas tree fires is low, these fires represent a higher level of hazard.

On average, 1 of every 9 Christmas tree fires resulted in a fatality compared to an average of one death per 75 non-confined home structure fires overall. Further, 49% of Christmas tree fires spread beyond the room of origin.

The fires that spread beyond the room of origin caused 94 % of the associated fatalities.

A dry Scotch Pine Tree takes less than nine seconds to become fully involved in flames.  It is important to keep your tree watered to prevent this danger.

Watch for yourself below…

Faulty Christmas lights were to blame for a house fire in Tasmania.

“The occupants of this property were lucky to escape,” Tasmania Fire Service regional fire investigator Anthony Goss said.

“We believe the fire was caused by a failure of the small connection box on a Christmas lights set which has caused it to heat up and catch fire.”

Please be safe this Christmas!

NSW fire service recommend the following safety tips:

  • When setting up fairy lights and other electrical displays use only one item per power socket and don’t overload power boards or piggy back double adaptors.
  • For maximum safety if you use a power board, ensure it has both overload protection and earth leakage protection devices incorporated.
  • Only use decorative lights that have an Australian Standards label and follow manufacturer’s instructions on setting up and operating.
  • Check lights and electronic decorations for faults, worn plugs and frayed cords.
  • Inspect the plugs and leads of used decorative lights to ensure they are in good working order. If in doubt, replace the lights.
  • Decorative lights may become very hot so keep away from children and flammable materials such as wrapping paper, decorations or curtains and don’t leave burning candles unattended.
  • Candles should be used in a safe position away from Christmas Trees or other flammable material and out of reach of children. Extinguish them if you leave the room and always before going to bed.
  • Switch off all electrical displays and decorative lights before going to bed.
  • Make sure you have a sufficient number of working smoke alarms throughout your home that are tested regularly and are supported by a written home escape plan in case of fire.

Sadly a Coroner found the fire that killed chef Matt Golinski’s wife and daughters in 2011, started near the Christmas tree. Read more HERE.

Share your comments below.


  • great article. be careful this festive season.


  • That is scary stuff! Warning to everyone to be extra careful.


  • A timely reminder to check lights and turn them off at bed time


  • Glad I have no tree, lol. The reason I’ve have no tree is because my youngest would get the whole tree down or remove all decorations; it’s just not worth it !


  • You would think that tree fires would have lessened since they replaced real candles with lights, but I guess anything can happen at any time! We only keep our lights on for around an hr a day and have a fake tree.


  • A very timely warning – thanks MoM’s. watering that pine Christmas tree is something most people forget to do.


  • Great advice


  • Those videos are scary. Better be careful.


  • Thanks for this article, some good tips on keeping things safe this Christmas


  • Even if the lights don’t actually touch the tree, the lights can overheat and burn the cable then the fire spreads from that. Those that look like bells (with plastic surrounds) the plastic melts when it gets hot. Hopefully they no longer make lights like that


  • Ive seen this. Crazy. Fake trees for us


  • Wow….I will pass on this article…so scary.


  • Yeah, they look great but can be dangerous too.


  • Perfect time …thank you sharing


  • Some Christmas Trees catch fire easily because of what they are manufactured from. If your Christmas lights look like bells make sure the outer part of them doesn’t get hot and short circuit at all.


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