Christmas Tree Safety

Water Your Christmas Tree Regularly
Christmas Trees and other fresh cut trees need to be maintained in order to reduce the possibility of devastating damage; or worse.
Watch a Christmas Tree Fire
This NFPA/UL video demonstrates the flammability of a dry Christmas tree vs. a tree that has been watered regularly.

The 2014 Indiana Fire Code - Section 806 Decorative Vegetation


Section 806.1 Natural Cut Trees


Natural cut trees, where permitted by this section, shall have the trunk bottoms cut off at least 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) above the original cut and shall be placed in a support device complying with Section 806.1.2. (This does not apply to trees with the root ball attached.)

Section 806.1.1 Restricted Occupancies


Natural cut trees shall be prohibited in Group A, E, I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4, M, R-1, R-2 and R-4 occupancies.
Note: This does not apply to the interiors of private dwellings, including the interiors of individual apartments.
*Exception: Trees located in areas protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 shall not be prohibited in Groups A, E, M, R-1 and R-2.

Section 806.1.2 Support Devices


The support device that holds the tree in an upright position shall be of a type that is stable and that meets all of the following criteria:
  • The device shall hold the tree securely and be of adequate size to avoid tipping over of the tree.
  • The device shall be capable of containing a minimum 2-day supply of water.
  • The water level, when full, shall cover the tree stem at least 2 inches (51 mm).
  • The water level shall be maintained above the fresh cut and checked at least once daily.

Section 806.1.3 Dryness


The tree shall be removed from the building whenever the needles or leaves fall off readily when a tree branch is shaken or if the needles are brittle and break when bent between the thumb and index finger. The tree shall be checked daily for dryness.

Section 806.1.4 A Natural Cut Tree


At least 2 days prior to placing a natural cut tree in a public building the Fire Department having jurisdiction shall be notified.

Section 806.2 Artificial Vegetation


Artificial decorative vegetation shall meet the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701. Meeting the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701 shall be documented and certified by the manufacturer in an approved manner.
Alternatively, the artificial decorative vegetation item shall be tested in accordance with NFPA 289, using the 20 kW ignition source, and shall have a maximum heat release rate of 100 kW.

Section 806.3 Obstruction of Means of Egress


The required width of any portion of a means of egress shall not be obstructed by decorative vegetation.

Section 806.4 Open Flame


Candles and open flames shall not be used on or near decorative vegetation. Natural cut trees shall be kept a distance from heat vents and any open flame or heat-producing devices at least equal to the height of the tree.

Section 806.5. Electrical Fixtures & Wiring


The use of unlisted electrical wiring and lighting on natural cut trees and artificial decorative vegetation shall be prohibited. The use of electrical wiring and lighting on artificial trees constructed entirely of metal shall be prohibited.