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Christmas tree fires

Report: "Christmas Tree Fires” 
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: December 2022


Report highlights

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 160 home1structure fires per year that began with the ignition of Christmas trees in 2016-2020. These fires caused an annual average of 2 civilian deaths, 11 civilian injuries, and $12 million in direct property damage. 
  • Home fires in which Christmas trees were first ignited have followed a distinct downward trend over the past 20 years, ranging from a high of 280 fires in 2007 to a low of 130 fires in both 2016 and 2017, with 180 fires in 2020.
  • As expected, Christmas tree fires primarily occur in December (41% of total) or January (33%).
  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in more than two of five (44%) home Christmas tree fires, followed by heating equipment (13% of fires).