Big Bear, Ca, December 2, 2010, 1:00pm – With the holiday season upon us, the San Bernardino County Fire Department and all of us here at K-BEAR would like to remind you of the following holiday decorating and natural Christmas tree safety tips. If you use a natural tree, make a fresh 1-inch cut at the base to open up pores clogged by sap. The fresh cut surface should be creamy-white so that the tree will be able to drink water. For a natural tree, choose a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water. Rinse the stand with a mixture of one capful of bleach and one cup of water before inserting the tree. This rinsing reduces the growth of microorganisms that can block the tree’s ability to absorb water. If the tree is not going into the house soon after purchase, it should be stored in a bucket of water in a cool place away from wind and sun. And remember, an average natural tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day. If the water level drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and no more water will be absorbed, so don’t forget to water the tree everyday. Have an enjoyable and safe holiday season.