One of the most enjoyable and essential Christmas traditions is putting up the tree. Whether you use the same artificial tree every year or journey into the mountains to cut your own, it’s always fun to gather the family and do it together. Often times you’ll find yourself reminiscing about past Christmas memories triggered by the ornaments placed on the tree. We couldn’t agree more that this tradition is one of the best, however, a Christmas tree can also be a large fire hazard if not properly put in place. Here are the top 7 causes of Christmas tree fires.

1. Damaged light wires-Every tree needs lights in order to shine. However, lights strands that are frayed or cracked are at risk of fire. Inspect your Christmas lights to make sure they aren’t damaged in any way.
2. Too many connected light strands-It’s important that you do not connect more than 3 strands of mini light sets. Overdoing it cause problems on the lights and the home’s electrical system.
3. Poor location of the tree in the house-One in every six Christmas tree fires happens because the tree is too close to a heat source like a fireplace, candle, vents radiators and space heaters. Make sure your tree is at least three feat away from these types of heat sources.
4. Dehydrated trees-A dry tree is likely to burn much more quickly than one that has been sufficiently watered. If you use a live tree, be sure to water it frequently.
5. Cords and plugs-During the cold winter months the home’s electrical system is on overdrive with all the lights and space heaters. It’s recommended to plug in strings of lights into an extension cord instead of plugging in the lights directly to the outlet to avoid damages to the electrical system and to decrease the risk of fire.
6. Playing with fire near tree-Be sure that your matches are properly hid and are out of the reach of children. Unfortunately, accidents like this happen and are very damaging.
7. Improper disposal-When Christmas is over, it’s time to get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a huge fire hazard.

Let Christmas be enjoyable by taking the necessary steps to avoid the risk of a home fire disaster. The first step is knowing what those risks are. Use this list and then take action to protect your family and home from fire.