February 25, 2024

News Release

Dispose of Your Christmas Tree Quickly to Prevent Fires

| 12/27/2023

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is encouraging Floridians to make sure their live Christmas trees are disposed of quickly after the holidays. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), leaving a live tree up past December greatly increases the chances of a fire incident, as nearly 33 percent of Christmas tree fires occur in January.

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “While keeping the Christmas tree up to enjoy it a little bit longer can be tempting, I encourage Floridians to protect your friends, family, and your neighbors by taking down and dispose of your tree as quickly and safely as possible to prevent a fire-related tragedy. Check your local community for disposal programs and never leave a dry tree sitting in a carport or garage. Dry Christmas trees pose a serious fire hazard and properly disposing of the tree can prevent starting off the New Year with potential disaster.”

Four 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 

About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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