Bakersfield Fire Department shares safety tips with the community on keeping Christmas trees safe

Posted at 12:00 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 15:12:45-05

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to start thinking about Christmas!

According the National Safety Council, Christmas tree fires account for more than 400 residential fires each year. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that each year there are approximately 500 Christmas tree fires. These cause more than 20 deaths, 117 injuries and $20 million in damages each year.

The Bakersfield Fire Department shared safety tips on how to ensure your Christmas trees stay flame free:

  • When purchasing a life tree, check for freshness. Fresh trees are green with hard needles and should not lose too many needles when tapped on the ground.
  • Do not put up your tree too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
  • When purchasing fake trees, make sure they are fire retardant.
  • Place your tree away from heat sources and escape exits.
  • Water your tree daily.
  • Decorate your Christmas tree only with fire retardant decorations.
  • Ensure the base of your tree is wide and sturdy as it will reduce the chance of the tree toppling over.
  • Do not let a live tree dry out.
  • Never use candles on or near the tree.
  • Safely dispose of your tree before it becomes too dry.
  • Never burn your tree, or tree parts, in your fireplace.