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Newtown Fire Marshall Issues Holiday Safety Decoration Tips

Here are some tips to keep your fresh-cut holiday tree safe.
Here are some tips to keep your fresh-cut holiday tree safe. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The following is an information bulletin from Bill Halstead Sr., Newtown's fire marshal, on holiday safety decoration recommendations:

  • Before natural trees are set up, the trunk should be sawed off above the original cut, set in a stand and tap water added. This initial fresh cut opens up the sap channels in the tree so it can take up water.
  • All trees should be upright in sturdy stands having a base that is sufficiently broad enough to effectively support the tree. Guide wires may be needed to steady oversized trees.
  • Natural trees having root balls should be moistened daily and cut. Natural trees should be placed in containers of water sufficient to provide at least a one day supply. A container holding at least one quart per inch in stem diameter is recommended.
  • Natural trees should remain indoors only for as long a period of time as they are fresh. Depending on tree size, they may use from 2 pints to 1 1/2 gallons or more of water per day so make sure to check the water level daily and supply fresh water as needed.
  • All trees and decorations should be located a safe distance from sources of heat, such as heaters, fireplaces, stoves, television sets, candles and the like. Never decorate your tree with candles.
  • Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday-related accidents. Worn-out electrical cords and plugs should be replaced. Avoid too many plugs in one outlet. Use multi-outlet power strips when running many applications or decorative light screens.
  • All sources of electric lighting, both direct and indirect, should be in good condition and consist of equipment that has been tested and labeled or listed for the specific purpose by a recognized testing laboratory. All lighting should be turned off, or better yet, disconnected, when the area is unattended.

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