X-mas tree & decoration/safety tips

Courtesy of KMC Fire Emergency Services

Photo by 2M media / Shutterstock.com

The holiday season is here again. As people prepare to make their homes look like a tiny version of a local Christmas market, the Kaiserslautern Military Community Fire Emergency Services would like everyone to keep safety in mind. KMC Fire Emergency Services is dedicated to helping keep Christmas merry and bright, so here are some safety tips regarding Christmas trees and home decoration.

Tree Selection

Christmas tree fires are not common in the U.S. or Germany, but when they do occur, they can be very serious. If purchasing a real tree this year, ensure the tree has fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Give the tree lots of love and water every day to keep it from drying out.

Be sure to dispose of your tree properly when the season is over. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

For information about proper disposal, contact your local town hall (Rathaus).

Placing the tree

Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk and consider drilling a hole in the base of the tree and stuffing it with cotton balls to absorb water.

Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.

Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree

Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory (UL or CE). Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands that can safely be connected.

Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

For more information on Christmas tree decoration and fire safety tips, contact the KMC FES Fire Prevention Office at 480-5940 or visit the National Fire Protection Association website at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/seasonal-fires/winter-holiday-safety/christmas-tree-fires.