Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Public Safety

Decorating a Holiday Tree

For many families, decorating the holiday tree is a favorite part of the season, but a real tree can pose some fire safety hazards.

  • For a fresh tree be sure to place it in a sturdy stand and keep the stand filled with water so that the tree does not dry out quickly. If purchasing an artificial tree it should be labeled as fire-retardant.
  • Keep the tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources.
  • Make sure the tree does not block any doorways.
  • Use only indoor lights on the trees and check for any bulbs that are broken or cracked. Also, check for frayed, bare wires, cracked sockets and loose connections.
  • When decorating with lights, use lights that bear the mark of a testing laboratory (UL).
  • Do not use more three light sets on an extension cord and try to avoid placing the cord under rugs, drapes or furniture.
  • Be sure to turn lights off when you go to bed or away from your home.
  • Never place lighted candles on a tree.
  • You should never burn fresh trees or wreaths in the fireplace or woodstove. They are likely to flare out of control and send flames and smoke into the room.
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