It’s just not Christmas without a decorated tree in the home! However, inviting a dry tree into your home can lead to disaster. If a dry tree comes in contact with a flame, it can catch fire in seconds and spread quickly throughout the home.
Remembering the following tips will help you enjoy your Christmas tree with no worries:
• Picking the tree.
If using an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as ‘fire retardant’. If you’re going with a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and that the needles are green and springy to the touch. If you tap a live tree on the ground and a needle shower ensues, put it back and choose another, fresher tree.
• Placing the tree.
Make sure the tree is not bloking an exit and is at least 3 feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, candles or lights. Before placing a live tree in the stand, cut 2” from its base and add water to the tree stand; remember to add water daily.
• Lighting the tree.
Use lights which have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Use lights as indicated, including not using indoor lights for the outdoors and vice versa. Replace any strings of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than 3 strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instruction for connecting strands of LED lights. Remember to turn off or unplug trees lights before leaving home and going to bed. NEVER use lit candles to decorate your tree.
• When Christmas is over or the tree is dropping needles, dispose of it. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage or placed outside against the home.
Never burn Christmas trees (or wrapping paper) in a fireplace or woodstove. Firs and pines have lots of sap that can send sparks into a room.
Collierville residents can take advantage of the Town’s Christmas tree recycling program by placing bare trees (no light strands, no tinsel, no ornaments, etc.) at the curb for recycling during the month of January. There is no need to bag the tree.