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Don't Let This Be Your Christmas Tree

Take a few precautionary tips from San Rafael Firefighters so your tree is not engulfed in flames.

Videos like the one above demonstrate how fast a live, cut Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames.

Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house.

San Rafael firefighters offer some tips on Christmas tree safety:

Selecting a Tree for the Holiday

Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut for too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard. Please keep the tree in a stand with water.

Artificial Christmas Trees

If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

Caring for Your Tree

Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of Your Tree

Please 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. Marin Sanitary Service provides curbside Christmas tree recycling through Green Yard waste pick-up for the month of January. Tree stands/bases must be removed. No flocked trees. No trees over six feet. For trees over 6’ either cut them in half or bring them to one of our facilities listed below.

Fire Stations Accepting Trees for Recycling - January 2nd through 15th 2012:

  • Station 52 - 210 Third Street
  • Station 55 - 955 Point San Pedro Road
  • Station 57 - 3530 Civic Center Drive

Other Locations

  • (Canal Area)
  • Manuel T. Freitas Parkway & Del Ganado (Scotty’s Market Parking Lot)
  • Marin Resource Recovery Center (During the entire month)

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