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Indian River VFC Fire officials offer Christmas tree fire safety tips to keep families safe


Fire officials offer Christmas tree fire safety tips to keep families safe

Story by:  Taylor Lumpkin

Indian River Volunteer Fire Company reprints this safety news article that was completed by WDMT News Channel 47.

MILLSBORO, Del – Now that we’re nearing the holidays, many people have gone out to get their Christmas trees. But emergency officials want to remind you of some helpful safety tips to prevent a Christmas tree fire in your home. They say for optimal fire safety, make sure when you get your tree you place it away from heat sources like candles, space heaters, radiators and fire places. They add that fresh trees are less likely to catch fire so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. They say these tips can ultimately save your home and your life.

“When you buy a live tree, just make sure it’s not dead and doesn’t have the needles falling off of it and continuously water them, check the water everyday. A Christmas tree will go up in a matter of seconds. You see it on social media, you see the live feeds. It’s no joke. It’ll take a house down very quick and that’s the last thing that you need to happen on Christmas,” said Second Assistant Fire Chief for the Indian River Fire Department, David Perrine.

Fire officials add that when you start to put lights on your tree, make sure there are no worn-out cords or loose bulbs.  And also remember to turn your Christmas tree lights off each and every night.

Additional information may be viewed at:

(1)     WDMT News: ; and 

(2)   NFPA Christmas Tree Safety Tip Sheet (see attached file)

Indian River and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) wants to remind everyone that, as you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly, they say.

Here are some tips from the NFPA:

Picking the tree:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree:

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk.

  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

  • Add water to the tree stand.

  • Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree:

  • Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

  • Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

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.

  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

FACTS: According to the NFPA, one-quarter of the home Christmas tree fires are cause by electrical problems. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every four of the fires.




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