As the holiday season continues, Hoosiers are reminded to keep an eye on the live Christmas trees in their homes. The average Christmas tree lasts for about a month after purchase, before it begins to dry out and become a fire hazard, according to the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office. When a tree’s needles drop, it’s time to remove it.
Fires that begin with a Christmas tree tend to be more deadly than the average house fire. The National Fire Prevention Association says about one in every 32 Christmas-tree-related fires resulted in death, compared to one in 143 for all home fires.
To prevent fires, state officials remind residents to dispose of their Christmas trees properly. You can check to see if your community offers tree disposal or pickup. If you plan to take the tree somewhere, make sure it’s secured to your vehicle, since dry trees are very light, and branches can break easily.
Another option is to dispose of the tree in your yard or garden. State officials say old Christmas trees can serve as a winter shelter for birds and wildlife. They recommend placing trees in a designated decomposition pile, rather than leaning them against any structures. You can also chop the tree for firewood. In any case, remove all decorations before disposing of your Christmas tree.