There’s nothing like Christmas in Puerto Rico. Many love the experience of decorating their home and putting up the Christmas tree (we often do it even before December comes around). The Christmas spirit is good for us all, especially in times like these.

However, it is also important to take precautions to protect our home during this season. They may not look like it, but Christmas trees, just like light strings and other electric decorations, may pose a fire hazard if we are not careful when installing and maintaining them.

Here are some tips and practices to make sure your Christmas is happy, and above all else, safe.

Take care of your tree

A well maintained tree not only look its best, it is also much safer. A dry tree is more prone to catch fire in case of an accident. When you buy your tree, make sure to check its needles. If they fall off easily, it would be better to choose one that is fresher. Once you put it up at home, add water to the base daily so that it stays fresh for longer. Make sure you place it away from candles or any other source of heat in your home. Once Christmas is over and the tree is dry, don’t wait too long to discard it responsibly. Don’t leave it in your garage or in public areas. Check if your community has a recycling program.

Careful with the lights!

When buying Christmas lights, inspect the box closely. Some varieties of light bulbs are tested in laboratories to measure how safe they are. These light bulbs will show a certificate in the box. Also, make sure you use the lights you bought correctly. For instance, there are lights designed for use indoors, while others are meant to be used outdoors. Using them incorrectly may increase the risk of fire. When you install them, check the wires for tears or stripping. This increases the risk of a short circuit, which could set fire to your tree or any other structure where you placed the lights.

Turn everything off before leaving

It’s always a good rule of thumb to turn off all the lights and decorations before leaving home or going to sleep. When you’re home and awake, at least you have the chance to control any fire that may break out or find help in time. If you’re out or asleep, the risk of a small fire getting out of control increases. Make a habit of unplugging everything before going to bed or heading out. This practice is also a good way to reduce energy costs.

Get a good insurance

Accidents happen. Regardless of how careful we are, sometimes we can’t control certain elements that may cause damage to our property. In those cases, a good property insurance will give you the peace of mind that, if a fire or any other kind of accident happens, you’ll be able to replace or repair what has been damaged.

For more information, check our property insurance plans at or call your insurance representative.