Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 2:25 pm | Fair 57º


Hot Tips from Fire Department on Christmas Tree Safety

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department wants to wish community members a safe and happy holiday season.

Recognizing that as evacuation orders are lifted for the Thomas Fire, many residents will be returning home to a dry or dead Christmas tree, the Fire Department offers some safety suggestions.

If your tree is extremely dry with needles falling off, remove it from your home and replace it with a fresh tree. If replacing your tree is not an option and you choose to keep it for the holidays, follow these tips:

» Be sure the tree is kept away from heat sources like fireplaces or heater vents. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.

» Make sure no exits are blocked by the tree.

» Check the lights before placing them on your tree. Look for worn or frayed wires and broken bulbs.

» When leaving your home or going to sleep at night, turn off the lights on the tree.

» Dispose of your tree properly. 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 Christmas tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community curbside pick-up service.

» Check home smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds the community that fires don’t take a holiday. By taking some precautions, you and your family can celebrate a fire-safe holiday.

— David Zaniboni for Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

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