Philly Fire Dept. on how to make sure your Christmas tree doesn’t become a holiday hazard

People walk among Christmas trees lining the sidewalk at the Tree Junction stand

People walk among Christmas trees lining the sidewalk at the Tree Junction stand on Oregon Avenue in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Fire Department is offering tips for how to make sure your live Christmas tree doesn’t become a hazard this holiday season.

At a recent press conference, Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel took a saw to the tree set up at the departments’ headquarters. Cutting the bottom of the trunk helps make sure it can bring up water and keep the tree from drying out.

Firefighter Camilla Bayete of the department’s Fire Prevention Division said it’s important to change the water as soon as you see it’s getting low — and to turn off the twinkle lights when you go to bed.

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“I know it looks nice to keep the lights on all night, but it is a fire hazard, especially again if you get a dried-out tree and you have those lights on and it only takes one little one little spark or the lights getting too hot for there to be the problem,” she said.

Philadelphia’s Streets Department is also working to be ready after the holidays to help remove the trees and recycle them. From Jan. 3 through 15, residents can take their trees to any one of the city’s recycling centers. The department will also have 26 satellite recycling centers around the city on Saturdays.

The city is also bringing back its partnership with the Awbury Arboretum, which has teamed up with the Philly Goat Project to turn old Christmas trees into feed for goats.

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Officials remind residents that to be recycled, the trees must be free of all ornaments, decorations, and other debris.

If you don’t want to have your tree recycled or can’t get to any of the drop-off locations, you can place your tree outside in a bag and it will be picked up with your regular trash.

Last year, the city recycled 1,900 Christmas trees, which equaled 1.2 million pounds that did not go to landfills.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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