Fire officials urge safety as Christmas trees come down


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Christmas is over and now it is time to safely get rid of that live tree in your home.

Fire officials are urging safety and county leaders are offering drop off locations for Bay County residents and business.

“A live Christmas tree can go up in flames in an instant, so it’s critical that you remove your tree and store your decorations quickly after the holidays. Make sure to safely remove lighting and check for any broken bulbs or wiring before storing them in a dry place,” said Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis. “It’s important to keep your live trees and other disposable decorations away from your home while awaiting trash pickup. Always remember that dried wood and pine needles can be a fire hazard.”

4 Tips for Holiday Decoration Disposal & Storage

1. Check for local disposal programs. Many communities offer a Christmas tree recycling program and have specific drop off locations or procedures for disposal. You may be able to leave it at the curb at your typical yard waste or bulk collection day. It’s best to check with your local authorities for details.

2. Do not store your tree in the home or garage. A dry tree can pose a serious fire risk when left in a garage or car port. Do not place your tree against the home before disposal.

3. Use caution when burning a tree. Do not burn your Christmas tree without checking with your local community for their open burn regulations. As with any fire, always keep a fire extinguisher close.

4. Check lights and decorations before storing. As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires. Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness. This can save you from accidentally creating electrical hazards for next year.

From Dec. 26 through Jan. 15, Bay County residents and businesses may drop their Christmas trees off at no charge at the following locations:

Residential ONLY:

Sherman Avenue Recreational Complex

2117 Sherman Ave.

Panama City, FL

Large quantities from businesses will be accepted at the following location only:

Commercial and residential:

Steelfield Road Landfill

11411 Landfill Rd.           

Panama City Beach, FL

The trees collected will be processed into mulch for use at the Steelfield Landfill. Free mulch will be available to residents of Bay County upon request. For more information call 850-236-2212.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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