Deck the Halls

‘Tis the season for Menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, holiday trees and festive lights! Lights and trees are allowed in apartments, but there are a number of fire-safe precautions worth mentioning.

♦ Real Christmas Trees must be treated with a flame-retardant chemical. Ask your vendor when purchasing.


♦ Unsafe & unattended decorations can catch fire! Unplug lights & extinguish any candles when leaving apartment.


♦ If you bring a live Christmas tree home, saw off at least one inch of the trunk and mount the tree in a stand that holds water. Keep the water level above the cut and check it daily. This will keep the tree fresh and green, and will reduce the risk of fire. Artificial trees look more realistic every year and some have built in lighting. Artificial trees also reduce the possibility of fire, compared to a live tree that can dry out and shed needles.


♦ Select the location for your tree carefully, keeping the tree away from exit doors, heating vents, and other heat-producing appliances that may dry out the tree. Fasten trees securely to keep them from overturning.


Please do not use lighted candles or other flaming devices on Christmas tree or near other decorations. Do not use cellophane decorations, as there is no way to fire-proof them. Do not use cotton batting or paper decorations, unless treated with fire retardant.


♦ Examine electric lights for the Underwriters' Laboratory (UL) label, and check the strings for signs of wear and tear. Discard them if any cords are old or frayed. Do not use electric lights on metal trees.


♦ Extension cords must be used with care. It is recommended for non-LED lights, that no more than three sets of lights be used per extension cord. Do not place the cords under rugs or in paths of travel.


♦ If you overload electric circuits, you may trip a circuit-breaker. Please unplug lights or appliances before re-setting them yourself. Constantly overloading the electrical wires can start a fire behind a wall.


♦ Make sure any candles used are snuffed out and lights on your tree are switched off when you leave home (even for a few hours) or are sleeping.  Consider using battery-powered lights instead of actual candles to reduce the risk of fire.


♦ If there is a fire, pull the fire alarm and immediately call 911 to report the location. If fire extinguishers cannot control the blaze, walk—do not run—to the nearest exit and get out of the building!

♦ Dispose of trees as soon as the holiday season ends. Ideally, please bring your trees to the grounds parking lot dumpster @ 298 Ohlone Avenue; OR to the nearest trash enclosure for organic materials pick up. Please do not leave dried out trees outside your apartments nor dump them elsewhere because they can become a fire hazard.