live-christmas-treeIndiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson, part of the Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is reminding Hoosiers to properly dispose of their live Christmas trees this year.

This season, monitor the Christmas tree for freshness. When the tree’s needles drop, it means the tree is too dry and should to be removed from the home. While dropped needles may be a nuisance to clean up, dry trees are a fire hazard. Remove all decorations before disposing of the Christmas tree.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, roughly one of every 34 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.

Many communities offer a disposal or pickup service for Christmas trees. Recycle Indiana has a statewide list of Solid Waste Management Programs, which can found here: This service allows Indiana residents to locate waste management district and disposal options in their area.

If disposing of a Christmas tree at home, treat a tree as garden waste. Do not lean the tree against any structures, instead place in designated decomposition pile. Placing the tree in a garden or backyard can provide winter shelter for birds and other wildlife. Another option is chopping the tree for firewood for summer bonfires, or indoor use next winter when the wood is properly seasoned.

For more information on holiday and fire safety, visit Follow IDHS on Twitter @idhs and on Facebook: