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Don’t be a Statistic this Holiday Season

Christmas tree fires spread quickly. Practice these fire-safety tips.

The temperature has dropped, we are shopping for presents, decorating and putting up our trees to celebrate the holiday season with families and friends but with all the hustle and bustle comes additional fire safety responsibility.

Most holiday fires can be prevented and having working smoke alarms more than doubles your chance of surviving a fire. Enjoy yourselves but also be aware of the increased threat of fire by keeping anything that can burn away from heating sources like ovens, fireplaces, woodstoves, heating vents, and portable heaters.

Albuquerque Fire Department offers the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:

Christmas Trees

  • Trees need about an inch cut off the end of the trunk. This will remove the dried end and allow the tree to absorb water.
  • Make sure and mount the tree securely and away from any combustible materials or heat sources such as fireplaces or candles.
  • Water the tree everyday.
  • When the needles get brittle or dull and begin to fall from the tree, it is time for the tree to go back outside.


  • Use lights that are UL approved. Check every set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connect ions before using. Throw away anything that is not in perfect condition.
  • Use no more than three sets of lights per single extension. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always turn off all tree lights and decorations before you go to bed or leave your home.

Candles and Luminarias

  • Never place a burning candle or luminaria near anything that can quickly ignite, such as curtains, trees, brush, or wood porches.
  • Always keep candles and luminaries away from children and pets as they could get burned if touched.
  • Never light luminaries during windy conditions where the bag could ignite and burning debris could spread the fire.
  • Monitor candles and luminaries when burning, never leave the room or go to bed without fully extinguishing the flame.

Smoke Alarms

  • Working smoke alarms alerts you to a fire and more than doubles your chance of surviving a fire.
  • Install smoke alarms in every home, on every level, outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.
  • Test your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out fast then call 911!

Have an Escape Plan

  • Plan your escape- know two ways out of every room
  • Have a "safe" spot that everyone goes to across the street.
  • Practice at least once a month so everyone knows what to do if a fire does occur.


For more safety tips, go to the City of Albuquerque Fire Department web site at