While decking the halls, be fire smart. Fire from a Christmas tree can spread through your home very quickly. Although Christmas tree fires are uncommon, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. Fire Departments across the country respond to about 200 house fires that started with a Christmas tree each year*. Tree fires are usually caused by electrical problems or a heat source too close to the tree. Hollywood Fire Rescue & Beach Safety wants you to be fire smart by following these simple tips.
PICKING OUT THE TREE
•When shopping for a live tree, choose one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire.
• 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 such as candles, lights, TV’s, fireplaces, or heating vents.
• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
• Add water to the tree stand daily to avoid drying.
LIGHTING THE TREE
• Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory and confirm they are for indoor use.
• Replace strands of lights that are worn, have broken cords or loose bulb connections.
• Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended number of light strands to connect.
• Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
• Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving your home or going to bed.
If you have questions or would like more information, please visit www.nfpa.org/education or call the Hollywood Fire Marshall's Office at 954.967.4404.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!
*National Fire Protection Association, 2011-2015.