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How to Prevent Holiday Fires

Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor travels to UL Laboratories to learn about preventing fires from holiday decorations.

Steps for Preventing Holiday Fires:

  1. Always blow out candles when you leave the room.
  2. If a decorative candle starts a fire, there may be time to put it out with a fire extinguisher. If the room catches fire, get out and call 911.
  3. If you have a real Christmas tree, keep it watered and away from heat sources. It will only last for about 4 weeks and needs to be removed after that.
  4. Before purchasing an artificial tree, check to see if it’s been UL tested to withstand fire. Keep it away from heat sources.
  5. If your Christmas tree catches fire, do not attempt to put it out. Get out immediately and call 911.


The UL-rated artificial tree Kevin saw can be found at most department stores.

Expert assistance for this segment was provided by UL Laboratories.