Christmas Tree Safety | Home & Garden
Trimming the tree is a traditional holiday pastime. Many prefer the look and scent of a fresh real tree rather than the artificial one; however, if they are not properly cared for, Christmas trees can pose a serious danger. Keep the following tips in mind when selecting and caring for your Christmas tree this holiday season:
- When buying a live tree, look at the needles. If they are brown or break easily, choose another tree. Test for freshness by bending a few needles in half. If the needles snap in two, the tree is dry - look for a tree with needles that spring back to their original shape. The trunk should be sticky and the limbs should be very flexible. Lift the tree and bounce the cut end on the ground, if the needles come tumbling off, it isn't a safe tree to take home.
- When you take your tree home, put it in a sturdy, non-tip stand filled with water. When you get the Christmas tree home, cut off the bottom two inches of trunk. This will create a fresh, raw cut for the tree to soak in water. If you don't do this, the trunk may not be able to drink in the water in the Christmas tree stand. Remember to give the tree plenty of water. Dry trees can catch on fire easily.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any flame or heat source. This includes space heaters, ceiling and floor heating vents, and of course never put candles on or near your tree.
- Before you put the lights on the tree, look at every bulb. If the string of lights does not look perfect, throw the lights away and get new ones.
- Safely get rid of your tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are flammable. They should not be left inside the home or garage, or placed against the house.
- Make sure your home has working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
- Make sure your family knows what to do to get outside safely in a fire. Practice a family fire drill so your family and guests know the plan.
For more seasonal safety tips, residents can visit www.bradfordcountyfl.gov and click on the Emergency Information link, or at www.facebook.com/BradfordEmergency and “Like” the page for more information, including instant severe weather alerts, community information, breaking news and safety tips.