Fire officials say Christmas tree lights sparked fatal fire in Utah

Blog Post created by lisabraxton Employee on Dec 20, 2016

A Utah couple has died after faulty Christmas tree lights sparked a fire at their home just north of Salt Lake City. Row of Christmas Trees and safety tips follow.Investigators believe the husband and wife used a fire extinguisher to try to put out the flames but were overcome by smoke. South Davis Metro Fire Spokesman Jeff Bassett is quoted by the Associated Press as stating that neighbors called 911 and tried to rescue the couple, but the front door was too hot to open. Bassett said the couple mentioned to people that they had been having trouble with the lights. Smoke and chemicals from the burning artificial tree likely overwhelmed the couple, while Christmas presents and logs for their fireplace stacked near the tree added fuel to the fire.

NFPA’s tips sheets on Christmas tree safety and winter holiday safety offer precautions:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Add water to the tree stand daily.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Always turn off the Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Blow out lit candles when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guest about your home fire escape plan.

In addition NFPA’s community toolkits and 10- and 30-minute mini-lessons help public educators prepare for presentations to the public on fire safety topics.