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Fire Department Warn of Holiday Hazards

By Staff | Dec 18, 2019

Sistersville Fire Department posts a friendly reminder to residents.

The Sistersville Fire Department posted a friendly, almost humorous, reminder that indoor Christmas trees pose a fire hazard to residences.

As essential as Christmas trees are to the holiday season, it is also important to remember to care for your tree properly to avoid the possibility of a fire.

For this reason, many people have switched to the simplicity of an artificial tree, that can be deemed safer, less messy, and more convenient.

However, for the families that still prefer cutting down and bringing a real tree into their homes, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent a fire.

Sistersville Fire Chief, Jason Wayne, says, “Between 2013 and 2017, it was reported Christmas tree fires caused three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in property damage annually. 39 percent of Christmas tree fires started in the living room with 25 percent of them started by a heat source.”

He goes on to report that there are ways to help prevent the start of a fire. “If you buy a precut tree, you at least need to make a fresh cut once you get the tree home and before putting in the base.

Cut one inch off from the bottom to allow water to get to the tree,” Wayne says.

It is also important to be cognizant of danger when determining where to place the tree. Wayne says, “Place the tree away from heat sources. These include heat registers, fire places, stoves, TV’s, or any other heat source.”

Finally, it is essential to keep the tree well watered. “Make sure your tree has plenty of water! Check the water level daily. Use plain tap water. Tree preservatives and additives are not necessary,” reports Wayne.