Christmas Trees in Commercial Facilities
The Apex Fire Department reminds business and commercial property owners of the requirements that must be met for using Christmas trees indoors.
If a "natural cut" Christmas tree is planned for use in commercial property, these requirements must be followed:
- The "natural cut" Christmas tree is strictly prohibited in the following facilities:
- Buildings or Facilities classified as: "Institutional" type occupancies such as Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Psychiatric Care Facilities, Jails/Detention Facilities, Adult Care, and Child Care Facilities caring for more than 5 children less than 2 1/2 years of age.
- Buildings used for residential care/assisted living purposes.
- Christmas tree’s shall be allowed in all other type occupancies provided that the building is protected throughout with an automatic fire sprinkler system.
- The support/ tree holder stand shall meet the following criteria:
- The stand shall adequately hold the tree to prevent the tree from tipping over.
- The tree stand shall be large enough to contain a minimum of a 2-day supply of water. Check freshness of the tree and the water level daily.
- The water level, when full, shall cover the tree stem/ trunk at least 2 inches.
- The tree shall be removed from the building whenever the needles or leaves fall 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.
- Trees shall not be placed as to obstruct or impede egress from the building.
- Use only UL listed electrical lights and wiring on trees. Do not overload extension cords. The use of unlisted electrical wiring and lighting on decorative vegetation shall be prohibited.
- Do not use open-flamed items such as candles on or near a Christmas tree. 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.
- The use of electrical wiring and lighting on metal artificial trees is strictly prohibited.
- Artificial decorative vegetation shall be flame resistant or flame retardant. Such flame resistance or flame retardant shall be documented and certified by the manufacturer in an approved manner.