For many people, picking and decorating their Christmas tree is a favorite time of the holiday season. Manheim Township Fire Rescue would like to provide you with some safety tips to keep your family safe this holiday season:
When picking your tree:
• If you are picking a fresh tree, have the vendor make a fresh cut an inch from the bottom; this will help the tree drink.
• When using a fresh tree, make sure to keep water in the tree stand, allowing the tree to drink and stay fresh as long as possible.
• If you are using an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
When placing the tree in your house:
• Make sure the tree is at least three (3) feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces and radiators. Try to position the tree near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances.
• Do not place the tree where it may block exits from the room or the stairway to another level of the home.
When lighting your tree:
• Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and make sure any lit candles in the room are placed far away from tree branches.
• Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors. Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
• If using a fresh tree, do not let it dry out and stay indoors past the holiday, this creates a fire hazard in your home.
• If using a fresh tree, always dispose of your tree properly. Take the tree to a compost facility, if possible, for recycling – NEVER cut the tree up and use in a fire place or wood stove.
For more information on Christmas tree and holiday safety, contact Manheim Township Fire Rescue at 569-6406, extension 106.