Massachusetts Fire Marshal asking residents to dispose of Christmas trees promptly to avoid fires


WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many of us like to keep our Christmas trees up through January, but a dry Christmas tree could be a fire hazard.

While many people wait to throw out their Christmas trees, the State Fire Marshal is asking people to dispose of them promptly. “A dried out Christmas Tree will ignite quickly and spread fire very fast,” Fire Marshal, Peter Ostroskey said in a press release.

“It increases your fire load in the house so not only does the fire have to happen with your actual Christmas tree, it will help the spread very fast,” West Springfield Fire Department Lieutenant, Thomas Kane told 22News.

According to the state Department of Fire Services, over the past few years there have been several fires involving dried out Christmas trees. They said on January 3rd of 2020, there was a fire in Westfield that began in the living room due to a Christmas tree. Luckily, no one was injured.

If you are keeping your tree up longer into the new year, Ostroskey is advising people to keep the tree watered and away from any heat sources.

“They say if a tree loses its smell, it starts dropping its needles it means the tree isn’t holding its moisture anymore so that’s when you know it’s a fire hazard,” Lt. Kane said.

Some communities offer Christmas tree composting such as Northampton for residents of the city, Florence and Leeds on January 2nd and 9th. To find out if your community has a Christmas tree recycling program, contact your local recycling committee or public works department.

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