VFD wants you to enjoy the holiday season with fire safety in mind
The Valdosta Fire Department wants you to have a safe holiday season, which means properly choosing, caring for and disposing of natural-cut Christmas trees.
“The best way to prevent a Christmas tree fire is to water it well every day, place it well away from heat sources, and dispose of it soon after the holiday,” said Fire Chief Brian Boutwell. “Although Christmas tree fires can be rare, they are very serious when they do occur.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one-third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and one-quarter start when the tree is placed too close to a heat source such as a fireplace, woodstove, radiator or space heater.
Picking the tree
- 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 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 a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light 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 after Christmas or when it is dry.
- 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