Fire departments nationwide respond to about 250 home structure fires each year that involve Christmas trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
And Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department crews don't want county residents to be among those fires that break out this holiday season. Crews recently distributed tips about Christmas tree safety to holiday tree lot vendors in the form of Christmas safety tags.
Live trees don't cause fires, but they can easily catch fire due to candles, electrical problems or other heat sources.
Here are some tips provided by the department:
- Keep tree base immersed in water.
- Do not permit smoking near the tree.
- Use only lights that are Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) approved.
- Use flame retardant decorations and paper.
- Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs, and defective sockets.
- Unplug lights at night and when leaving the home.
- Remove the tree soon after the holidays–before the needles dry out.
To print out a copy of the safety tag, visit the Fairfax County Emergency Information Blog.