Santa Barbara County Fire is offering some Christmas tree safety tips this holiday season to keep the public's holiday safe.
• When purchasing a live tree, look for signs of freshness. A fresh tree is green, the needles will be difficult to pull from branches, and a minimum number of needles should fall off.
• To keep your tree fresh, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, and check the water level daily. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
• When placing your tree in your home, make sure it 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 your lights before placing them on your tree. Look for worn or frayed wires and broken bulbs.
• When you leave your home or go 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 your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community curbside pick-up service.
• Check your smoke detectors to make sure they are installed and working properly.
• Create and practice a fire escape plan.