Christmas Tree Safety

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According to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 200 home structure fires annually from 2002 to 2005 that began with Christmas trees. Each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage, according to the United States Fire Administration.

Bend Fire Department wants everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season. Here are some tips on keeping your home safe while enjoying your freshly cut tree.

 Christmas Tree Safety

• Select a firm, fresh tree and place it at once in a cool place. Do not purchase a tree that has dry or dropping needles. When you bring your tree home, immediately cut a 1” diagonal piece off the bottom and place in a mixture of one part sugar and sixteen parts water. Keeping the container filled with water will help prolong your tree’s freshness.

• Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces and wall heaters, and do not place the tree where it may block exits.

• Never use lit candles on a tree or near any evergreen decorations.

• Check your strands of electric lights closely for worn insulation, broken plugs, loose bulb sockets, and use only lights that carry the label of the leading national testing laboratories.

• When purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant. To avoid shock hazard, never hang strands of lights on metallic artificial trees. If your artificial tree has built-in electrical lighting systems, it should be “listed” by a recognized national testing system.

• Always unplug your Christmas tree and decorative lights when leaving the house or going to bed. Outdoor lights should have special wiring intended for outside use.

• Use decorations which are non-combustible, or which are flame-retardant. Keep natural evergreens and flammable decorations away from candles, fireplaces and other open flames.

• Never leave a candle burning unattended. If you leave the room, blow the candle out. Store matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet. Teach children that matches and lighters are tools, never toys.

• Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house or garage, or placed against the house.

• Use care in disposing of wrappings and tree. Do not burn in your fireplace or woodstove as it may cause a chimney or stovepipe fire.

• RECYCLE YOUR TREE - When the holidays are over, you can recycle your tree.

Bend area Boy Scout troops will be collecting Christmas trees for recycling in Bend
on the weekends of December 29th & 30th 2018 and January 5th & 6th, 2019

For further assistance, you may leave a message using the phone numbers below:

SW Bend; west of 3rd street and south of Newport/Greenwood (541) 385-3977
NW Bend; west of 3rd street and north of Newport/Greenwood (541) 385-2692
NE Bend; east of 3rd street and north of Greenwood/Highway 20 (541) 385-2672
SE Bend; east of 3rd street and south of Greenwood/Highway 20 (541) 385-3942

Please have trees cleaned of all lights, decorations, tinsel and out of the stand.
Place trees at the end of the driveway by 9:00 a.m. (Alleyways will not be checked) A tax-deductible donation of $5-10 is greatly appreciated. You can make your check payable to “Boy Scouts of America” and place in a plastic bag and securely attach it to your tree with a rubber band.
Proceeds go directly to Scouts and support their programs.

Curbside Yard Debris Recycling Service (trees cannot have tinsel or flocking)

For customers with curbside yard debris service, you can recycle your tree in your yard debris cart. Cut the tree down to 3 or 4 smaller pieces and put in your yard debris cart. Bend Garbage is offering $5 curb side pickup of you full tree January 7-11, 2019. Set your tree out next to your roll cart. Cascade Disposal customers can call to schedule a $10 pick up at 541-382-6660.

Deschutes Recycling (trees cannot have tinsel or flocking)

FREE tree recycling at Deschutes Recycling at Knott Landfill
Wednesday, December 26 – Thursday, January 31, 2019, open Mon-Sat 7am-4:30pm (closed Sundays)
Find more info on their webpage at or

Land Fill Services

Flocked or trees with tinsel will need to be disposed of in the landfill at standard rates.
For areas outside of Bend, check with your local disposal company, your local department of solid waste or local fire department for ways to dispose of your tree.

Remember that a dried out Christmas tree can be a serious threat for fire in your house. 
The Bend Fire Department reminds everyone take proper care of their trees to prevent it from drying out and to remove their dried out Christmas tree as soon after Christmas as possible to reduce the risk of fire!

Remember that a dried out Christmas tree can be a serious threat for fire in your house. The Bend Fire Department reminds everyone to remove their dried out Christmas tree as soon after Christmas as possible to reduce the risk of fire in the home!