Properly choosing, caring for and disposing of your Christmas tree can help prevent house fires.

In Philadelphia, natural-cut Christmas trees are allowed only in one- and two-family homes. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind!

Before Christmas

  • When choosing a tree, bend some of the needles. If they break, the tree is too dry.
  • After picking your tree, cut off an extra inch or two of the trunk. The fresh cut will help the tree absorb water.
  • Place the tree firmly in its stand, with plenty of room for water.
  • Check the water level daily, and add if needed.
  • Make sure electrical cords for tree lights are not frayed or knotted. Also check that the lights are for indoor use.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.
  • Never leave a lighted tree unattended.
  • Don’t let the tree block exits or stairs.
  • Keep the tree away from portable heaters and other sources of heat.

After Christmas

  • Recycle or dispose of the tree when it’s dry. Find a location to recycle your tree from Jan. 2 to Jan. 12.
  • Dried-out trees are a fire risk. They shouldn’t be in your home or garage, or leaning against your home.
  • Make sure all ornaments and decorations have been removed from the tree before disposal or recycling.