Christmas Tree Safety
Fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and poisonous gases.
Care and Feeding of Your Tree
Selecting a tree: Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches. Also, the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Older trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If several needles fall off, the tree has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
- Caring for your tree: Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The tree will dry out quickly, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up too long. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
- Disposing of your tree: Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or a wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
- Artificial trees: If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
- Maintain your Christmas lights: Inspect Christmas lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory (ULC).
- Do not overload electrical outlets: Unless the directions on the lights indicate it is safe, do not link more than three strands of lights. Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch.
- Use only nonflammable decorations: All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and be placed away safely away from heat sources such as the fireplace.