Fire marshal offers Christmas tree disposal reminders

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If you cannot recycle your tree this year at one of the drop-off locations in Allen County, the Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson reminded Indiana residents how to properly dispose of their live Christmas trees.

This season, Greeson said to monitor the tree for freshness. When the tree’s needles drop, it means the tree is too dry and should be removed from the home. While dropped needles may be a nuisance to clean up, dry trees are a fire hazard. Remove all decorations before disposing of the Christmas tree, Greeson said in a press release from the Department of Homeland Security.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, rougly one of 34 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.

If disposing of a Christmas tree at home, treat a tree as garden waste. Do not lean the tree against any structures, instead place the tree in a designated decomposition pile. Placing the tree in a garden or backyward can provide winter shelter for birds and other wildlife. Another option is chopping the tree for firewood for summer bonfires, or indoor use next winter when the wood is properly seasoned.

For more information on holiday safety, visit GetPrepared.IN.gov. For a statewide list of disposal and pickup services for trees visit IN Solid Waste Management.