The leading cause of Christmas tree fires and property damage was short circuit or ground fault (21%). According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cords and plugs were the leading type of equipment involved in the ignition of Christmas trees.
Any string of lights with worn, frayed or broken cords or loose bulb connections should not be used.
Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to sleep.
Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and place them well away from tree branches.
Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily. Do not purchase a tree that is dry or dropping needles.
Choose a sturdy tree stand designed not to tip over.
When purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant.
Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source and try to position it near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances.
Do not place the tree where it may block exits.
Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house or garage, or placed against the house.