The Long Beach Fire Department would like to remind members of the community about Christmas tree safety. Please review the following safety tips.
Selecting a fresh tree: Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for your tree: Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out a tree. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up longer than 2 weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. Trees that have been watered properly, and maintain pliable, green needles are harder to ignite.
Tree lighting: Inspect your holiday lights each year for frayed wires, wear and tear, etc. Use only lights that have been listed by an approved testing laboratory. On your tree, only use lights designated for inside tree use. Do not use excessive lighting - usually 3 strands is the maximum amount that can be linked – consult the lights packaging for details. Never leave lights on unattended.
Use only non-flammable decorations
Artificial trees: If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
Candles can be dangerous: Never use real candles on a Christmas tree.
Disposing of your tree: Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of a tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up serve.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:Even with the best intentions, accidents can happen. Make certain you have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your dwelling and test them regularly. This is a good time of the year to replace batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
It only takes seconds for a Christmas tree to engulf a room in fire. Please go to the following link to see how fast a disaster can happen:http://youtu.be/dxaUj_rfkN4