9 Signs You’re a Holiday Decorating Disaster…

By December 10, 2015Fire Safety, NFPA
  1. Your cat lets you know he’s delighted you’ve finally bought some great toys!
    Keep pets and children at least three feet away from burning candles and electrical cords to prevent burns and electrical fires.
  2. That ever-growing pile of fallen pine needles on the living room floor is receiving more comments than the decorations for your Christmas tree.

    Zoe Buller/Instagram

                A dry tree in your home is a fire danger. Think of it as a huge pile of kindling in your home. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

  3. You’ve spent more time trying to free yourself out of the tangled lights than actually decorating the tree.


                                        Check the manufacturer’s instructions to find out how many lights can be connected to prevent electric shock and fire.

  4. You know it’s bad to put flammable material near a fire, but you can’t help yourself. These stockings just look so darn cute and festive!
    Keep anything that can burn away from a heat source, despite how awesome it looks. Flameless candles are also a great alternative to real ones when decorating.
  5. Your house is a holiday tourist attraction and you couldn’t be prouder.
    An overloaded electrical outlet is a major fire hazard. Plug strings of lights directly into the wall and keep the number to a minimum.
  6. Some of the bulbs on your string of lights have already taken time off for the holidays.
    Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. These can easily start a fire.
  7. You’ve remembered to keep yourself well hydrated, but the same can’t be said for your Christmas tree.

    Christine Policandriotes/Instagram

    Always keep water in the tree stand. Check daily and add water as needed. Dried-out trees are a major fire hazard.

  8. You’re convinced those strings of Christmas lights make the perfect hat to complement your holiday outfit.


    Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. And most certainly, not for your head.

  9. You’ve been a bit lazy about taking down your Christmas tree so you got creative and came up with a new tradition: a Valentine’s Day tree!
    Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.


Let’s face it, the holidays are never perfect, no matter how they’re portrayed in magazines and on television. But by following a few simple practices and precautions, you can create a perfectly fire-safe holiday for you and your loved ones!

And remember, have working smoke alarms in your home and create a home escape plan. Practice it with your family so everyone knows what to do if a fire does occur.

Happy Holidays from NFPA!