Christmas tree safety tips
“Did you know that a dried out Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames in a matter of 3-5 seconds and in another 30-40 seconds everything in your room can be ablaze?” asked Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. “A well-hydrated tree, on the other hand, is very difficult to ignite.”
Download these NFPA safety tips on Christmas trees. http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sh... (PDF, 1 MB)
Picking the tree
If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
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, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.