Stay Safe This Holiday Season!

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ASHLAND, Ore. — The holidays are quickly approaching and U.S. Fire Marshals are urging people to take safety precautions when it comes to setting up their Christmas tree, and those decorations. One step in the right direction is making sure your tree is not too dry when you pick it out.

One way to tell is when you’re out there at the tree lot picking it out, grab the whole tree and just tap it on the ground a few time; if needles fall off, then it’s too dry. Also, if you’re not into heavy lifting, there’s another easy way to test the dryness. Just grab the branch and pull ever so slightly; if needles come off when you do that, put the tree back.

To help keep your tree healthy, plop it into a big bucket of water when you get it home and keep the water bucket filled. If you do not keep it full the tree can dry out and then you will have no other choice than to get rid of it.

“The Christmas tree has a lot of sap and oils and it will burn really well so it’s very explosive if you put this into your fire place. We always encourage people if you are using a fire place or wood stove to use clean dry wood and this isn’t dry,” said Ashland Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman.

If your Christmas tree does dry out, either throw it away or take it to a Christmas tree disposal center.

Also: a lot of us are going to start wrapping gifts here soon as well, but it’s not okay to just toss the scraps of wrapping paper in the fireplace. Much like a Christmas tree, the ink on the wrapping paper can be explosive.

Burning wrapping paper can create more creosote build-up in your chimney, which will not be good in the long run. The best thing to do with wrapping paper is either toss it or recycle it.