Madam Butterfly painted the faces of guests at the Aldergrove Elks Children’s Christmas Party

Fresh trees and proper lights keep Christmas safe

Township of Langley Public Fire and Life Safety Educator Krista Barton encourages people to have a safe and happy Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but accidents can happen – even at Christmastime.

“To keep your family and home safe, there are a few precautions that should be taken when decorating your house and putting up the tree this holiday season,” said Krista Barton, Public Fire and Life Safety Educator for the Township of Langley.

Get off to a safe start by choosing a Christmas tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. “Older, dry trees can be a potential fire hazard,” said Barton, who suggests cutting two inches from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in a stand, to ensure it soaks up water. Be sure to add water to the stand every day.

Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces or candles, and that it is not blocking any exits.

“When lighting the tree, use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory,” Barton said, “and note that some lights are for indoor or outdoor use only.”

Replace any strings of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Don’t connect more than three strands of mini string sets and check manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands that can be connected.

Never use lit candles to decorate the tree and always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Get rid of the tree soon after Christmas, before it gets too dry. “Dried out trees are fire hazards and should not be left in the house or garage, or placed against the home,” Barton said.

Trees can be recycled at various tree chipping events being held throughout the community, including one that will put on by members of Township of Langley Firefighters Local 4550 at the Otter Co-op on Saturday, Jan. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the tree chipping will benefit the B..C. Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund. See upcoming Township Pages for more details.

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