We’re in the home stretch of the Christmas countdown and Kalamazoo residents are feeling the holiday spirit. Whether you prefer real or fake Christmas tree, do you know if it’s up to code? I had no idea there are, in fact, rules to celebrating Christmas. The Michigan State Fire Marshal wants your family to have a safe and merry Christmas. Here are the guidelines they encourage you to follow this season:

Live Trees

1. If you put a live tree in your home, it should not be set up more than 10 days before Christmas and may not be taller than 8 feet.

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2. When setting up a live Christmas tree in your home, you must make a fresh cut at least one inch above the original cut before placing it in water. Once placing it in the water, you must maintain that reservoir and keep it filled. Any tree that appears to be dry should be removed immediately.

Fake Trees

3. When it comes to artificial trees, only those labeled “flame resistant” by a nationally recognized testing facility are allowed.

4. Regardless of flame-proofing do not use candles, paper decorations, or any other combustible décor in your tree as it’s strictly prohibited.


5. Metallic trees, such as the retro aluminum alloy ones, are permitted in homes, however you may not use any electric lights or wiring near the tree. Instead, it is suggested you use a decorative flood light.

6. Only turn on electric lights when there is a responsible person there to supervise. When using said electronics, make sure they have the Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) seal of approval.

Keep It Clear

7. Perhaps the most important rule of all: place your tree in a remote area of the room and do not let it block any exits!

If you haven’t put your Christmas tree up yet, what are you waiting for? If you have any questions regarding the safety of your decorations, contact the Michigan Bureau of Fire Services at (517) 241-8847.

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