Christmas Tree Safety from the Washington Fire Marshal

“Holiday season decorations can bring happiness and hazards,” reminds State Fire Marshal Mike Matlick, “Please follow these safety tips to ensure a fire safe holiday.”
Caring for your freshly cut tree:
ü Select the freshest-looking tree available.  To test for freshness, gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you.  Very few needles should come off in your hand.  Shake or bounce the tree on its stump.  You should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground although some loss of interior brown needles is normal.
ü Water the tree.  If not setting it up right away, store the tree in water and out of the sun and wind.  Make a fresh cut off the bottom of the trunk one half inch from the bottom just before putting in the stand.  Don’t add anything to the tree’s water.  Keep the tree stand full of water at all times, checking the water level daily.  The stand you use should hold at least one quart of water for every inch diameter of the trunk after the tree is in the stand.
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