Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and the Massapequa Fire Department today issued important Christmas tree safety tips to residents during this holiday season.
“The Massapequa Fire Department and I remind residents that Christmas trees can pose as a fire hazard when not cared for properly. While Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are costly and often deadly as it only takes a matter of seconds before a tree can become fully engulfed,” said Supervisor Saladino.
Christmas tree fires account for approximately 250 house fires each year in the United States, and of those, one-third are caused by electrical problems. A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every five of these fires. It can take only a few seconds for fire to fully engulf a room if a Christmas tree comes in contact with an ignition source, such as a frayed wire or candle.
To ensure holiday safety, Supervisor Saladino and the Massapequa Fire Department offer the following safety tips:
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Use lights that have the label of an independent 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. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED 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, dispose of the tree immediately after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.