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Safety Messages Regarding Live Christmas Trees
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By Member Jim Keener
November 9, 2021

As the holiday season approaches the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District wants to stress the importance of maintaining a safe environment for you and your family members. Our first segment is on live Christmas trees.

Christmas trees are involved in hundreds of fires each year, resulting in deaths, injuries, and property loss and damage. Keep your family safe this holiday season by following these safety tips:

PICKING A TREE

* When purchasing a live tree, choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
* When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label that reads, “fire resistant.” Although this label does not mean the tree won’t
catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.

PLACING THE TREE

* When setting up a tree at home, place it away from any heat source, such as a fire place, radiator, heat vent or lights.
* Cut 2″ from the base of the live tree before placing it on the stand.
* Make sure your Christmas tree is not blocking any exits.
* Keep the tree stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly. Dry trees can be a serious fire hazard.
* Make sure the tree is away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, heat vent, candle or lights.

LIGHTING THE TREE

* Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
* Replace any string lights with worn or broken cords. Check for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose
connections.
* Never use candles to decorate a tree.
* Use no more than three standard-size set of lights per single extension cord. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED
strands to connect.
* Always turn off tree lights before going to bed or when you leave the house.
* After Christmas, 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. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and
make them last longer.

FACTS…

* One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
* Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be very serious.
* A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six of the fires.


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