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Fire Safety for the Holidays From Arizona’s Landscape Specialists

by: Blue Marble
December 25, 2018

Trees and candles and lights…oh my!

At Blue Marble Landscape we care a lot about trees… and about our valued clients. 

Trees are one of the most valuable landscape assets for any community or property. They provide character, beauty, and protection. However, if they are not managed properly-especially during the holiday season, they can become a liability to the community and property.

From holiday candles, Christmas trees & palm trees, to wreaths and dangling garlands seasonal decor can be hazardous if not properly used with care. Fire safety is a priority during this festive season and the tree and landscape experts wish to keep the holidays happy, bright and safefor you, your family and guests.

Christmas Safety One, Two Tree

Arizona celebrates Christmas with lights in all kinds of trees, from palm trees to deciduous. Lights are strewn indoors and outside, in homes and in commercial landscapes. This is also a popular time of year for using candles. Unfortuanetly December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.

blue marble landscape fire safety

Christmas safety should be on everyone’s mind this Holiday season. Did you know that one out of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems? Heat sources being too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four of Christmas tree fires.

Every year Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires. Most often it is shorts in electrical lights and open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. You’d be surprised how much water a Christmas tree needs to remain moist and healthy. Dry or neglected trees are a potential fire waiting to happen. 

From our family here at Blue Marble Landscape to yours, we’d like to share a few things you need to know about keeping your home and family safe from fires during the holiday season!

 Here’s the short list for fire safety:

  • If you are using a natural tree in your home it should be cut at a 45 degree angle.
  • You must place your tree away from sources of heat.
  • Please use only non-flammable decorations.
  • Inspect your Christmas lights for frayed wire or other defects before use…LED is preferred. Inspect extension cords too.
  • Do not leave your Christmas lights on unattended no matter what kind of lights they are.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are fully functional.
  • Keep your tree stand full of water at all times.

Christmas Trees And Lights

As we’ve already mentioned, you must keep your tree well hydrated. Two or three days without water is enough to dry our your tree. Once it is this dry it can catch on fire easily, and really should be discarded.

Overloaded electrical circuits to accommodate holiday lighting, decorations and cooking appliances, unknowingly increasing the potential for electrical fires and outages.

Now that you’ve inspected your Christmas lights for frayed wire or other defects, gotten rid of flimsy extension chords and made sure your tree is not dry here are a few more safety tips and suggestions:

Install a timer to automatically turn on your lights at night and off in the morning if it’s too darn cold to go outside.

  • Do not over staple your strands of lights- trees are living and can be hurt by going nuts with the staple gun. Also make sure that you are not piercing insulation wires if you must staple.
  • Use outdoor lights and outdoor extension cords… for outdoors! Electricity is a dangerously awesome power source and should be respected.
  • Never handle Christmas light strands that are plugged in… especially while stapling.
  • Use heavy-duty extension cords that are grounded for fire safety. Never place them under rugs or carpets.
  • Don’t overload circuits. Most households can power 70 strings of 50 bulb mini lights, or 300 to 600 strings of LED lights… spread your lights strands out over multiple power circuits to prevent an overload. Take out major appliances that are the same source for light strands.
  • Turn off all lights and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed. 


As tree care specialist you might think that Blue Marble only cares about living trees…however, we know a thing or two about firewood and kindling.

As winter evenings can be quiet chilly in Arizona, there are quite a few homes using wood burning fireplaces. Here are a few fire safety tips for beautiful and safe Christmas fires:

  • Don’t just burn any old item. (You’d think this is a no brainer) Burn fires that consume the fuel. Wet or fuel is poor-quality fuel and results in slow fires and more creosote build-up on your flue. And never ever burn pressure-treated or painted wood. Preferably burn only CSIA-accepted manufactured wood logs or seasoned firewood.
  • To burn a better fire use a top-down burn method- this will produce less smoke and burns hotter and cleaner. Place the largest logs on the bottom, adding a cross layer of smaller logs, then add a little crushed newspaper.
  • Collect and clean out fire ashes after each fire.
  • Oh and make sure the damper is open before lighting a fire!

Wreaths And Candles

Candles definitely provide festive ambiance and fragrances, but they’re also responsible for starting 2 out of every 5-decoration structure fires each year. This is especially true during the holidays with the top days for candle use being Christmas Eve, Day and New Years Day. Here are some candle and décor safety tips:

  • Try using flame without the fire. Consider replacing your traditional wax candles with battery-operated types, but don’t forget to turn them off when leaving the house, since LED lights do get hot.
  • Never leave a candle burning unattended. Seriously. If you’re going to be stepping away from the candle for several minutes, it’s safer to blow it out rather than risk a potential fire hazard.
  • Use caution when decorating with candles. Candleholders must be sturdy to keep them from tipping over or touching flammable surfaces. Candles should ideally be at least 12 inches away from all flammable items… including wreaths.

The Best Landscape Services: Safety First

One of the reasons that Blue Marble Landscape is one of the top ten Arizona tree care service providers is because we emphasize the safety of people and property above all else.

Safety first: No one enjoys the holidays when someone is hurt or fires threaten everything that we hold dear. Follow these tips to help make the most of the holiday season.

Blue Marble Landscape’s team of Arizona experts, who include certified arborists, is committed to professionally managing your inventory of trees with proper pruning techniques, including keeping them cleared from buildings, streets, and sidewalks. We are also dedicated to consistently evaluating the health of the trees on every property we manage and can remove trees when necessary.

Our experts, on staff, provide quality tree management for every property we manage, including tree removal when necessary.  For more information about our Arizona tree management program, please call 480.895.2684 or click here.

Blue Marble Landscape, Experience A World Of Difference.

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