7 Places You Should Never Put Your Christmas Tree, According to Experts
We know it looks great, but here's why you shouldn't put your Christmas tree by the window.
Whether you prefer real or artificial, big or small, your Christmas tree is the centerpiece of your holiday décor. However, if you put your tree in the wrong place, you might just end up with a house fire or a serious injury. According to Brianna Deerwester, communications coordinator for Electrical Safety Foundation International, nearly half of home fires occur during the months of December, January, and February. And those that are caused by Christmas trees are usually deadlier than others, she says. To both prevent a holiday disaster and to make sure you're placing your tree practically, we've rounded up all the spots you shouldn't put your Christmas tree this year!
Directly in front of a window
As tempting as it may be to want to show off your tree for your neighbors and passersby, one of the first spots you should rule out when deciding where to put your Christmas tree is in front of a window. Instead, you should try to select a spot where the tree will not prevent light from entering the room, according to Christmas tree expert Deemer Cass of Fantastic Services.
"Natural sunlight warms your home on cold days and should not be blocked," he explains. At the end of the day, a warm house on those freezing winter nights is much more important than a festively decorated one!
Near sources of heat
Placing your Christmas tree next to a fireplace may be picturesque, but it is simply unsafe. In fact, according to Matthias Aleckna, an energy expert at Energy Rates, the number one place you should avoid putting your Christmas tree is within three feet of any plugged-in space heaters or lit fireplaces.
"With each passing day, your Christmas tree increasingly becomes kindling and that may just light up if it gets too close," he says. "If your tree is plastic, you're also at risk for whatever concoction of fumes it will release as it burns, so carefully inspect the surrounding area to make sure it's not a safety hazard."
On top of a vent
"You shouldn't have anything obstructing the vents in your home, as this prevents your furnace system from circulating air effectively," says Aleckna, referring to those ventilation grids on your floor. "Plus, it increases the risk that debris will fall into the vents where they will become a fire hazard. This also wastes money, as blocking the furnace means that it has to work overtime to keep your house warm."
Or under a vent
After making sure your Christmas tree is not on top of a ventilation grid, you must make sure it is not under one either. As Cass explains, a Christmas tree placed under a vent that's on your wall or ceiling "will dry out immediately," again making it more prone to catching fire.
Close to an exit
In theory, placing your Christmas tree near an entryway sounds like a good idea. After all, that's where guests will see it right when they arrive. However, Ana Bera, home security expert and co-founder of Safe at Last, warns that "if you put your Christmas tree close to an exit, there is a high probability you'll run into it. … You can knock down an ornament and potentially slip on it."
In a room with low ceilings
A good way to ensure that your Christmas tree looks perfect is by putting it in a room with high ceilings. "There should be at least a foot and a half between the top of your tree and the ceiling," says Jeneva Aaron, interior designer and home décor blogger at The House Wire. "You want to leave room to put the star, but there should even be a few extra inches above that."
In the middle of a room
When you put your Christmas tree in the middle of a room, you're essentially creating yet another obstacle for pedestrians. "When it's right in the open, it's more likely to become a tripping hazard, especially if you have children. You do not want a decorated tree to fall over in the middle of your living room," says Melanie Musson, a home safety expert for Home Insurance Rates.
And while this is less of a hazard and more of an annoyance, putting your Christmas tree in the middle of the room will definitely hinder communication during holiday parties. "It may seem like the perfect spot, but imagine your holiday get-togethers," Musson says. "Everyone is sitting around the room, but no one's able to carry on a conversation with anyone across the room because the tree is creating an obstacle."