The Washington Times-Herald

Community

December 13, 2013

Christmas trees need attention

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is encouraging everyone to select and maintain their Christmas tree carefully to reduce the risk of fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, one in every six Christmas tree fires are caused by a heating source that is too close. What could start as a small fire, can grow large very quickly with a Christmas tree.

“For a great number of Hoosiers, selecting and decorating a Christmas tree is an annual holiday tradition,” says Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Families can help keep this a joyful tradition every year by making sure their Christmas tree is carefully selected and properly cared for to reduce any fire risks.”

Fire Marshal Greeson wants Hoosiers to keep in mind these fire safety tips when picking out and maintaining your tree:

n 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.

n Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

n If you choose an artificial tree, be sure it is identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.

Christmas Tree Maintenance

n Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk.

n Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.

n Make sure the tree does not block an exit.

n 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. A dry Christmas tree can quickly go up in flames.

Tree Lights and Decorations

n Make sure to examine all lights and ornaments when decorating a tree.

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