The Pasadena Fire Department Offers Safety Guidelines for Holiday Trees in Public Places, Schools, and Businesses

Published : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 | 2:12 AM

[Updated December 17, 2018]   Christmas trees are among the most flammable items in homes and businesses at this time of year. A dry tree may literally explode and be consumed by fire in a matter of seconds.

When the trees are placed in any area where the public may gather, the California Code of Regulations requires that they be treated with a flame-retardant solution or process approved by the State Fire Marshal.

The Pasadena Fire Department requires that the following regulations be observed regarding the use of Christmas trees in areas of public assemblage, including schools, institutions, retail stores, public areas in hotels, apartment houses, and office buildings:

· Flame retardant, applied by an operator licensed by the California State Fire Marshal’s Office, is required for all holiday trees in public buildings.

· Per the fire code, trees and other decorations cannot block or obstruct any exit way or pedestrian path of travel.

· The tree shall bear a tag approved by the California State Fire Marshal’s Office indicating the date, type of retardant, name of the concern that applied the retardant and the license number.

· Candles are prohibited on trees and wreaths.

· Wreaths must be properly treated with a flame retardant approved by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and so tagged.

· The support device that holds the tree is an upright position must be of a type that is stable and of adequate size to avoid tipping over of the tree and capable of containing enough water to cover at least two inches of the tree stem.

· The bottom of the trunk must be immersed in at least two inches of water at all times. Immediately prior to immersion, the trunk must be cut off at least one inch above the original cut.

· No readily combustible materials may be placed on, under or within four feet of the maximum horizontal projection of any tree, including live specimens.

· No tree or decoration may be displayed in a way that impedes or affects any exit.

· No tree may be displayed for more than 30 days.

· Only use electrical lights that are UL listed for use on indoor trees. The Fire Department recommends that low-heat mini-lights be used for all trees.

For more information call (626) 744-4655.

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