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Holiday Safety Wishes from Hillsdale Fire Station 5 Firefighters


Over the weekend, the crew from Portland’s Hillsdale Fire Station 5 brought the Holiday season to life by hanging a wreath on the front of Engine 5 and decorating the firehouse exterior with festive lighting.

This year, the station’s dayroom will host the annual Christmas tree topped with a bright star.

Station 5 Captain Fred Ellison and the Hillsdale crew along with all of Portland Fire & Rescue remind citizens that carefully decorating Christmas trees can make your holidays safety.  Check out the safety tips below and remember, a small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly!

Picking the Tree

  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the Tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1–2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the Tree

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

  • Dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Remember, as you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. Hillsdale Fire Station 5’s crew wishes citizens a safe and happy holiday season!


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   December 5, 2011 


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