Christmas Tree Selection, Watering Important to Holiday Fire Safetyby Indiana Department of Homeland Security on December 10, 2014
As purchases of holiday decorations are in full swing, the Indiana State Fire Marshal is encouraging safety when selecting and maintaining Christmas trees.
Fire Marshal Jim Greeson wants Hoosiers to keep in mind these fire safety tips when picking out and maintaining a tree:
When buying a live Christmas tree, choose the freshest tree possible. Harvest at a Christmas tree farm, or select a freshly cut tree that hasn't been on the sales lot long.
Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
If you choose an artificial tree, be sure it is identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
Christmas Tree Maintenance
Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk.
Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
Make sure the tree does not block an exit.
Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. Add water daily to the tree stand. Live Christmas trees dry out quickly once they're brought into a home.
Tree Lights and Decorations
Make sure to examine all lights and ornaments when decorating a tree.
Some lights are either for indoor or outdoor use only, while some may be used in either location. Make sure the lights are appropriate for the venue.
Replace any string of lights that have worn, in addition to broken cords and broken bulbs.
Periodically check the wires -- they should not be warm to the touch. If they do feel warm, replace them.
Never decorate the tree with lit candles.
Always be sure to turn the tree lights off before leaving home or going to bed.
For more Christmas and holiday decorating and safety tips, visit GetPrepared.IN.gov.
The state fire marshal leads the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety.