Christmas Decoration Safety

Safety Reminders for Christmas Season

Click on the graphic at right for an entertaining and informative YouTube video on ways to keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season.

Christmas Lights / Trees / Decorations

Lights, Christmas trees, decorations, candles: there are many ways a fire can start in your home during the Christmas holidays. The Midland Fire Department offers tips on how to keep safe during the busy holiday season (see below).

For more holiday safety tips, visit the National Safety Council or U.S Fire Administration websites.


  • Check each strand of lights before you put them on the tree for shorts or exposed wires. Discard any strands with problems. Make sure all wiring is intact and UL-approved.
  • Don't piggyback more than three sets of lights together from one electrical outlet.
  • Turn off lights when you go to sleep or leave your home.


  • If you haven’t yet put up your tree make sure you purchase a fresh one. The needles should be hard to pull off the branches and not break when you try to bend them. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose any needles.
  • If you use an artificial tree make sure it's approved by a recognized testing agency and is rated as fire resistant.
  • When you get the tree home make sure to place it away from fireplaces, radiators and heating vents. This keeps the needles from drying out faster. Also, keep the stand filled with water to slow the drying process. Do not place the tree so that it will block traffic areas and doorways.
  • Never use lighted candles in the tree.
  • Remember to check live trees daily.
  • After the holidays, dispose of your tree - until mid-January - at the curb on your regular refuse collection day (if you live in the city of Midland). Do not burn your tree in your fireplace, as this can led to dangerous build up in your chimney.


  • Keep lit candles and lighting materials such as matches or lighters out of reach of children. Be sure to keep lit candles away from flammable materials such as paper. When you leave a room or your home, blow out all candles.
  • Decorations - Decorations should be made of nonflammable material and kept away from electrical wires, outlets and direct flame, i.e., candles.


  • Be careful when preparing meals while entertaining guests, becoming engrossed in your conversations may not only burn your food it could start a fire. Always have someone monitor the cooking to reduce this risk. Cooking turkeys in fryers can be delicious at the table but disastrous if you’re not careful. Never use a turkey fryer indoors or even in a garage. Never drop the turkey into the fryer and never put a frozen turkey in the fryer. Do read and follow the instructions supplied by the fryers’ manufacturer.
  • Keep flammable potholders or oven mitts away from the stove, try to use only nonflammable items.
  • Keep children away from cooking surfaces and ovens.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing when working around appliances that cook or have exposed gears, like mixers.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid available if a fire does start. Use the mitt and use the lid to smother the flames while you turn off the heat. Do not throw water on the flames.
  • If you have a fire in the oven, turn the oven off immediately and leave the door closed to avoid being burned yourself. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.