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How Quickly Can a Christmas Tree Catch Fire?

With twinkly lights, glistening tinsel and dozens of homemade ornaments, our Christmas trees tell the stories of our family traditions. But if your holiday memories spark into a Christmas tree fire, it can be a frightening sight.

While Christmas tree fires aren’t common, they can cause serious and sometimes deadly damage. The National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of 160 home fires are caused by Christmas trees per year. The fires burn quickly and can destroy more than just the tree, resulting in $10 million in direct property damage annually, according to the NFPA.

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To see how much damage a Christmas tree fire can cause, Erie staged a fire in a vacant home, supervised by the local fire department. From its first flame, it only took 30 seconds to fill the room with toxic smoke. And in one minute, it burned down the entire living room.

Watch the footage of a real Christmas tree fire here:

What Causes a Christmas Tree Fire?

Many people love their Christmas decorations and choose to leave them up for a few weeks after the holiday. But when it comes to a dried-out live Christmas tree, that's a dangerous risk to take. The moisture content of your tree can determine how quickly a fire will spread. A well-maintained tree won’t catch as easily as one with dry branches and needles.

How to Prevent Your Christmas Tree from Catching Fire

Keep your tree shining bright and fire free with these helpful tips:

Looking After You

When it comes to holiday traditions, it’s nice knowing your independent ERIE agent is there to help you protect both the old and the new. This holiday season, make sure you and your family have the right home insurance so you can tackle whatever life throws your way. 

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.