New Canaan Fire Marshal: Taking Down Christmas Trees


L-R: Douglas Gillespie, Thaddeus Strobach Sr., Thaddeus Strobach Jr., Walter Schmitz.

Taking down the Christmas tree isn’t nearly as much fun as putting it up. But the longer a tree stays up, the greater a fire hazard it becomes. All Christmas trees can burn, but a dried-out tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds. In a year where many people began decorating their homes earlier than usual, trees have been in homes longer than usual, presenting an increased risk of fire as the days go by.

  1. When Christmas is over or the tree begins to drop needles, dispose of it.
  2. Do not leave it in the house or store it in the garage.
  3. Never burn a tree in the fireplace or woodstove.
  4. To dispose of your tree, Planet New Canaan will be collecting Christmas Trees at the Waveny Pool parking lot January 1st until January 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All trees should be free of all decorations and wreaths are not accepted. Trees will be chipped by New Canaan Department of Public Works and used as mulch for New Canaan Nature Center. Please email with any questions or visit the organization’s website at An additional option is to take the tree to the Transfer Station at 139 Lakeview Avenue. Both are free of charge.

Keep in mind these safety tips when removing lights and decorations and storing them properly to ensure that they are in good working order next year.

  1. Use the gripping area on a plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet.
  2. As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage. Throw out any sets that are damaged.
  3. Wrap each set of lights and put them in a plastic bag or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.
  4. Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children or pets.

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