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January 05, 2017
Tree still up? Fire experts say it’s time to take it down!

If you’re one of those people, or businesses, that love to keep your Christmas tree up after the holiday, the risk of fire might motivate you to think again.

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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly encourages people to remove trees promptly after the holiday season. “Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they continue to dry out,” explains NFPA vice president Lorraine Carli. “The longer you keep a Christmas tree in your home, the more of a fire hazard it becomes.”

NFPA statistics show that Christmas tree fires are not common. But when they do occur, they’re much more likely to be serious. On annual average, one of every 34 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death. That compares to one death per 142 total reported home structure fires.

While all Christmas trees can burn, a dry tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds. NFPA recommends using local community recycling programs for tree disposal. If possible, trees should not be put in the garage or left outside of home or the workplace.

For additional information on avoiding other types of winter fires, visit It is the page of “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” a campaign promoted jointly by NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration.

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