Thursday, December 22, 2011
Christmas tree tips
■ Many artificial trees are fire resistant. Look for a statement specifying this protection.
■ A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To check for freshness, remember:
A fresh tree is green.
Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches.
When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break.
The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin.
When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles means the tree is too dry.
■ Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.
■ Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Trim away branches as necessary to set tree trunk in the base of a sturdy, water-holding stand with wide spread feet. Keep the stand filled with water while the tree is indoors.
■ Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
Steamboat Springs The Routt County Office of Emergency Management can offer a wealth of knowledge to help people be safe and prepared during the holiday season and throughout the winter.
Emergency Management Director Bob Struble also advises people who want to be prepared to visit www.readycolorado.com for information.
“Everybody should have a 72-hour go kit,” Struble said.
The website discusses everything that should be included in the kit, which is meant to sustain an individual or family for at least 72 hours during an emergency by providing essential food, water medications and supplies.
In Northwest Colorado, the kit could prove invaluable during emergencies such as a strong storm that knocks out the power for an extended time period, Struble said.
He said building a kit for the car is equally important, especially in this region where people drive frequently in hazardous conditions. The car kit should include items such as a sleeping bag, cellphone charger, energy food, water, chains and a jumper cable as well as blankets and clothing for cold weather.
Besides being prepared, Emergency Management also has offered tips for staying safe during the holidays.
Struble was with the Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue fire department for nearly 30 years and said local residents have been safe for the most part when it comes to Christmas trees and lights. He recalled one year when someone put a tree in the fireplace at a local hotel.
“You should never burn your tree in the fireplace,” Struble said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees are involved in about 400 fires annually that typically result in more than a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries and more than $10 million in property loss and damage. The association states short circuits in tree lights are the leading cause of the fires.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com