Time to throw out Christmas trees, prevent fires, Ohio fire marshal says

With the holiday season ending, now is the time to get rid of Christmas trees to decrease the risk of house fires, Ohio’s fire marshal warned.

“The longer trees remain in homes, the higher the fire risk,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon. “Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home, garage or placed outside against the house.”

A third of house fires involving Christmas trees take place in January, according to the National Fire Protection Association. From 2015 to 2019, 160 house fires reportedly started with Christmas trees, resulting in two fatalities, 12 injuries and $10 million in property damage.

Some communities have tree recycling programs. Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton is accepting trees at Eastwood MetroPark through Sunday on behalf of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife. Trees will be sunk into different bodies of water in the state to serve as fish habitats.

The trees must have all trimmings, tinsel, garland, lights and ornaments removed before they are dropped off.

ODNR is also accepting trees at Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville at the North Pool Boat Ramp until Jan. 17.

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