Protect Your Family From Fire Danger Posed by Dried Out Xmas Trees

Posted on November 27, 2012

We’re reaching that time of the year where holiday decorations are going up on lawns and in residences across the country.  Which means that, around the Los Angeles and Southern California area, Christmas tree lots are beginning to spring up.  But as people set out to bring some holiday cheer to their home, it’s important to take the proper precautions. The fire department of Topeka, Kansas wants to make sure that citizens remain safe and are thus providing a variety of safety tips in regards to real (versus fake) Christmas trees.

Being safe with a Christmas tree starts with picking the right tree in the first place.  There’s a number of things to take into consideration when making sure your tree is the proper age.  First examine the needles.  They need to be green and shouldn’t be easily pulled away from the branch.  When you place your hand on the trunk, it should come away sticky.  And one handy trick can be used to certify that your potential tree isn’t too old.  If you can, pick up the tree in its entirety, lift it a few inches off the ground, and then drop it.  If the needles stay on, you’re good to go.  When large amounts of needles fall off, it’s likely that the tree is dry and will pose a fire threat once it’s brought into your home.

Once you bring the tree home, you still must remain vigilant to ensure safety.  Make sure you keep the tree far from space heaters, a fireplace, or anything else that might heat up the tree to an unsafe level.  Over time, the tree will become drier and drier, and thus any open flame might pose a fire threat.  You should water the tree as needed, never letting the stand become completely dried out.

It is certainly possible to put a tree up too early.  You might consider waiting a couple weeks to pick out the perfect tree, as it’s recommended that a live tree not be placed in a home for more than 14 days.  If you put it up now, there’s a good chance it will completely dry out by the time Christmas rolls around.

Should your tree become dry before Christmas, don’t take chances.  Replace it at once and get a new tree if you have to.  Remove the tree from your home and take it to an area designated for tree disposal.  Do some research to find out where this can be accomplished in your community.  And when needles or entire branches fall off the tree, do not toss them in the fireplace.  This could pose an additional danger that you don’t want to have to confront.

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