November 19, 2018 – Christmas trees start more than 200 fires every year and one in every 31 results in death. Many people don’t know the important safety tips, but since Sher Grogg tragically lost 6 members of her family, including her brother, Don, his wife and their 4 grandchildren in a fire caused by an overly dry Christmas tree, she has made it her mission to help other families celebrate their holidays safely. Watch Sher tell the story in her own words.

Sher has teamed up with fire safety advocacy group, Common Voices, and FlashMax, a fire safety Superhero character (and active firefighter) to help spread her message through the #DoItForDon Holiday Safety Campaign that includes a downloadable Christmas Tree Safety Flyer. 

Here are three easy-to-follow tips:

  • Water the Tree Stand Daily
  • Always Turn the Lights off and Unplug Them Before Leaving or Going to Bed
  • Dispose of the Tree Within 30 Days or By January 2, whichever comes first

It was after hearing about the tragic fire that claimed the lives of Sher Grogg’s family that Michael Furman, the Fairfax County, Virginia firefighter created the Flash Max character. His mission: to bring the important message of home fire safety and survival to children and families. “After overcoming my own personal childhood fear of fire, I always wanted to work with children to help allay their fears. Watching how the unconscionable tragedy of a Christmas tree fire gripped the hearts of people nationwide, set the wheels in motion for Flash Max the fire safety superhero to be born,” he says.

“My brother, Don, died trying to save his loved ones,” notes Sher Grogg. “These are simple steps that everyone should know to keep their family safe. We also now know that if the house had fire sprinklers, the outcome would have been much different. Fire sprinklers buy time, and time buys life.”

About Common Voices: Common Voices ( is an advocates’ coalition of members who all have been directly affected by fire. By bringing their voices together, they hope to educate others regarding fire and its devastating impact. Their mission is to create a fire-safe America by sharing their stories, creating resources that educate and sharing fire statistics.

About Flash Max: Flash Max’s ) mission is to spread the message of fire safety and survival to children and families through an aggressive education program in a fun, entertaining, and interactive way and to make prevention education fun and engaging for fire service personnel. Through his book, ‘Flash Max Fire Safety Superhero,’ and character, the program has grown into a national outreach platform complete with traveling prop trailer, local and regional school visitations, fire station open house events, and stage performances.

Contact: Vickie Pritchett, 615.533.0305

Common Voices Christmas Tree Safety