(Please scroll down and click the links to view the fire department's Christmas tree safety videos in English, Chinese and Spanish.)
The Monterey Park Fire Department wants you to have a safe and joyous holiday season. While Christmas trees are a large part of the holiday season, they can also present a significant fire hazard. By following some simple tips, everyone can enjoy the holiday spirit and remain safe at the same time.
Picking a tree
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily
Lighting and decorating the tree
- Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- When decorating your tree, if you have small children at home, avoid sharp or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of reach as they could be swallowed or inhaled. Also, avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to try and eat them.
Properly dispose or recycle the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
When putting up or taking down holiday decorations that require the use of a ladder or step stool, be sure to not overreach or attempt to grasp something that is too heavy for one person. The most frequent holiday decorating incidents involve falls (41%), lacerations (10%) and back strains (5%).
Smoke detectors should be installed and working year round regardless of the season. Take a minute to test your smoke alarm and make sure it is working properly. The early warning provided by smoke alarms saves lives.
Please follow these links to videos created by the Monterey Park Fire Department. They contain valuable information on holiday safety and can be found in:
If you have any questions regarding holiday safety, please contact the Monterey Park Fire Department at 626-307-1423.
Division Chief Matt Hallock, PIO, Monterey Park Fire Department