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Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Time to Remove Your Christmas Tree

 MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

It may be time to remove your Christmas tree from inside of your home.  The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department recommends that a well-maintained, watered, tree remain inside of your home no longer than 3 weeks.  Warning - a tree that has already turned dry and brittle needs to be removed immediately to eliminate the increased probability of a fire.  The United States Fire Administration (USFA) states that as trees, which are in one-third of all households, dry out, the risk of fires increase.  The last week of each year, including Christmas Day and New Years Day, fire deaths, injuries and dollar loss increase up to an average of 50%.

This video demonstrates just how quick a dry tree is consumed with fire compared to one that has-been well maintained.  All trees, regardless of maintenance, will dry out.  Remove your tree now and avoid any chance of this occurring in your home.

Remember “Safety First” ensures everyone goes home; it’s time to remove the tree and keep your family safe.  While you are removing the tree it is a good time to remember to check your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector to ensure they are working.  Cold weather is forecast for Prince George’s County next week and the occurrence of home fires increase as temperatures decrease.

Once your tree is outside simply place it on your curb.  Never burn your discarded tree.

The Department of Environmental Resources (DER) and Waste Management Division (WMD) is offering recycling services to residents with County - provided yard waste collection.  If you live in a incorporated city or municipality, check with your local Department of Environmental Resources and Waste Management offices as many offer similar services.

Starting December 27, 2011 - January 31, 2011, please leave your unadorned Christmas Trees curbside on your regularly scheduled yard waste collection day by 6:30 AM.  Recycled trees will be shredded and used for DER’s annual spring Mulch Giveaway event.  With last year’s tree collection totaling 26 tons, this year, the County’s goal is to double last year’s amount.

Please note: Christmas Trees must be no longer than 6 feet

In addition, residents may also bring unadorned trees to the following locations, free of charge:

     Prince George’s County
Yard Waste Composting Facility
6601 Southeast Crain Highway
Upper Marlboro, MD
Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m – 3:30 p.m

     Brown Station Road Public Convenience Center
3501 Brown Station Road
Upper Marlboro, MD
Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m

For more information, please call (WMD) Recycling Section at 301-883-5045 or The Department of Environmental Resources Waste Management Division at 301-952-7630.

Citizens needing a smoke alarm can call our SAFETY FIRST line at 301-864-SAFE (7233).  A member of the Fire/EMS Department will come to your home and install a working smoke alarm at no cost.  Having a working smoke alarm increases the chances of surviving a fire by up to 50%.  Having a working smoke alarm is good for you, your family and to firefighters.

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