When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness.
A fresh tree is green with needles that are hard to pull from the branches. The trunk butt of a fresh tree should be sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
Remember - Cut trees remain fresh for a short time.
Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
Things to know about artificial trees.
When purchasing a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant. Look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
About placement of your Christmas Tree.
Place your tree away from heat sources and escape exits. Remember to water the tree daily.
About decorations, set up and removal of your tree.
Decorate your Christmas tree (real or artificial) only with flame-retardant or non-combustible decorations.
Make sure your tree stand is wide-based and sturdy. This reduces chances of the tree toppling over. Do not let a live tree dry out. Always use a tree stand with a water reservoir, and keep the reservoir filled.
Never use candles on or near the tree.
Safely dispose of your tree before it becomes dangerously dry. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
Never burn trees or tree parts in your fireplace.
Test results at the National Fire Protection Association show that:
A tree flocked with fire resistant material would not burn.
A tree that has been constantly watered would not burn.
A tree that was not watered for several days caught fire and burned completely in under one minute.