Skip to main content

Safety expert provides tips to avoid fire hazards this holiday season

Close-up of a lit candle in front of a Christmas tree.

Download full-size

What’s the news?

For many West Virginia families, homes are ready for the holidays with lights and decorations on the tree. But decorations, lights and even family pets can be a potential fire hazard in the home. West Virginia University Extension Service expert, Mark Lambert, provides some safety tips to spark joy — not fire — this holiday season. 


“Fire safety around the holidays is very important. One-third of all fires during the holidays are caused by Christmas-related ornaments and lighting, including candles.” 

“Christmas tree fires are not common — only one in 52 result in a death. However, they are very often catastrophic in their damage to the house and to the residents.”

“Always remember these three tips: Water and inspect a live tree daily. Check all of your light strings —any malfunctioning lights should be thrown away, and never leave a room with a candle burning.”

“Make sure your lights have the ‘UL’ logo somewhere on the package. Underwriters Laboratories tests products like lights to make sure they are safe for us to use.” — Mark Lambert, Fire Service Extension director and assistant professor, WVU Extension Service 

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, are of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.


VIDEO: Fire safety is very important around the holidays...

VIDEO: Christmas tree fires are not common...



CONTACT: Haley Moore
Communications Specialist
WVU Extension Service

Call 1.855.WVU.NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday. Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.