There’s nothing quite like setting up a live, aromatic Christmas tree and, as carols play, leisurely decorating it.
But, in a matter of seconds, that image goes up in smoke — literally — if the tree, especially one that’s not well hydrated, catches fire.
To help educate the public to such dangers, volunteer firefighters and others conducted a tree-burning demonstration Monday at the Nassau County Vocational Education and Extension Board Fire Service Academy in Old Bethpage.
The demonstration was to show “the unimaginable rapidity of a dry tree fire and emphasize to the public the urgent need to adequately hydrate their trees and to properly dispose of them,” said a news release from the Nassau County Firefighters Museum & Education Center.
The threat exists, certainly, while the tree is inside a residence, but also after it’s been discarded and moved outdoors, officials said.
John Murray, chief instructor of the firefighter’s museum, shared some tips:
-When shopping, bounce the tree on the ground, and if too many needles come off, keep looking.
-When you get the tree home, make a fresh cut of about one inch off the bottom, and put the tree in water right away, even if it’s staying outdoors for a while.
-Once the tree is inside, fill the tree stand with water every day.
-Also, keep the tree well away from radiators and fireplaces.