December 8, 2020 – Christmas trees start more than 200 fires every year, and one in every 31 of those fires results in death. Although one of the most cherished symbols of the holiday season, many people don’t know the important safety tips. Since Sher Grogg tragically lost 6 members of her family – her beloved brother Don, her sister-in-law, and their four grandchildren – in a fire caused by an overly dry Christmas tree in January 2015, she has made it her mission to help other families celebrate their holidays safely through a holiday safety campaign.

Sher has teamed up with fire safety advocacy group Common Voices to help spread her message on how to care for and install a live tree for the holidays along with the importance of fire sprinklers. Here are three easy-to-follow and imperative tips:

  • Water the tree stand daily – really, every day
  • 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

Sher credits finding Common Voices as a key part of her recovery process, even though nothing will ever be able to bring her family members back. Helping to educate others in their memory eases the pain. “The tragic fire that claimed 6 members of my family was started by their Christmas tree. Don died trying to save his loved ones. There are simple steps that everyone should know to keep their family safe. We also know that if the house had fire sprinklers, the outcome would have been much different,” said Sher Grogg.

We challenge you to send your own video, with holiday fire safety tips and we’d be happy to share it. Sher’s brother Don would want her to spread the message now that she can. Sher says, “I didn’t have the knowledge to save my family, but now I have it to save yours.”

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.

Contact: Vickie Pritchett, 615.533.0305