Christmas tree safety tips

December 23, 2013 

Even though Christmas has come and gone, most of the Christmas trees will remain a holiday decoration until the end of the year. Fire officials urge several steps be taken to ensure they don't become a home fire hazard. In mere seconds, a fire can spark and quickly engulf a Christmas tree.

"The holiday season brings an increase of hazards into the home," said State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover, Cal Fire — office of the state fire marshal. "The key to a safe Christmas tree is keeping it watered and away from heat sources." Check the water levels daily — never let the water level go below the bottom of the trunk. Commercial floral preservatives can also be added to the water to help keep the tree fresh.

Locate any tree at least three feet away from sources of heat. Avoid placing any tree, live or artificial, near a heater outlet, wood stove or fireplace. If the tree does dry out and becomes a hazard, remove it from the home immediately. It's not worth the risk.

Don't overload outlets or light sets by connecting too many together. Use multi plug circuit type plug to prevent heat build-up.

Remove the tree immediately after the holidays. Even a properly cared for live tree will eventually die. Take it to a recycle center or leave for your refuse collector.

For more Christmas tree and holiday decoration fire safety tips visit the Cal Fire website at fire.ca.gov.

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