The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service would like to remind citizens to practice fire safety when displaying a natural Christmas tree in the home. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.

Selecting a tree for the holidays:

* Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut.
* The trunk should be sticky to the touch.
* Old trees can be identified by shaking the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut for too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Caring for your tree:

* Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
* Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
* Do not put your natural tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
* Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of your tree:

* Do not put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
* When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
* The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to one of the City of Winnipeg’s ‘Let’s Chip In’ tree recycling depots from December 27 to January 20, 2012.

Stay safe Winnipeg!