Decorating Statistics

  • In 2004-2008, an estimated 1,170 home fires per year began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of 8 deaths, 54 injuries, and $19.1 million in property damage.
  • Christmas tree and holiday decoration fires result in twice the injuries and 5 times more fatalities per fire than the average winter holiday fire.
  • On average, 260 home fires begin with Christmas trees each year, resulting in 12 deaths, 24 injuries and $16.4 million in property damage.
  • An additional 150 home fires per year begin with holiday lights and other decorative lighting, causing another 8 deaths, 16 injuries, and $8.9 million in property damage each year.
  • Candles started 45% of home decoration fires.
  • December is the peak time of year for candle fires.
  • Christmas, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day are the top 3 days of the year for candle fires.
  • Roughly 5,800 people per year were treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations.  More than half of these injuries were caused by falls from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors.
  • CPSC estimates that each year, about 4,000 injuries associated with electric extension cords are treated in hospital emergency rooms.  50% of these injuries involve fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains from people tripping over extension cords.  13% of these injuries involve children less than five years of age; electrical burns to the mouth accounted for 50% of the injuries to young children.