Christmas tree fires are fairly common. Many times it can not only injure your family, but burn your house down in the process. Take precautions to keep your home and loved ones safe. Nothing beats the smell, tradition, and grandeur of a real tree for Christmas. Don't make it a Christmas of tragedy.
It might seem too logical, but the first thing to do is to pick as fresh of a tree as possible. Going to a tree farm and cutting one down is as fresh as you can get. If you can't do that, choose the freshest tree on the lot. Look for ones that do not have easily falling or brown needles. Brown needles are a dead give away. The fresher your tree is, the better.
Put your Christmas tree in a big pot of water.. The bigger, the better. Keep it watered constantly. Check it daily. You never want the reservoir to go low. This is the number one thing you can do to keep your tree fresh and almost fire resistant.
Watch those decorations. They need to be fireproof. Check the boxes and labels. Buy lights that do not get hot enough to start a fire. Check how many strings you can connect together, and maybe do one less than that. Old fashioned screw in bulbs can get hot, and the metal screw in can touch a branch. Everything you put on the tree should be flame retardant.
(It goes without saying that at this point you should check all fire alarms and make sure they are working!)
Keep pets and kids from being able to knock the tree over.
Don't put the tree in an area that could be blocking an escape route in a house fire.
Never leave the tree lights going when you leave the house or go to bed.
Keep your Christmas tree as far away from heaters, candles, and fireplaces as possible. Three feet or more. To be safe, more than three feet.
It may seem bad, but as soon as you see needles dropping off regularly, the tree is past its prime. It needs to be tossed out.
Never burn your tree in your yard or fireplace. The sap ignites like a fireball! Dispose of it properly.