Seasonal Safety Tips
* Be sure to follow appropriate rules and regulations. For Indiana's open burning law, click here.
* Reminder an Open Burning Permit is required from the Fire Department Headquarters for any open burning.
* For all open fires, be sure to have a fire extinguisher and/or a garden hose within reach.
* Never let children play near the fire.
* Never leave a fire unattended. All embers should be extinguished.
* Swim with a buddy. Adults should never leave children unattended near water.
* Dive only in areas clearly marked for diving. Avoid diving in shallow pools, lakes and ponds.
* Make sure your car has had recent routine maintenance items taken care of before heading out on a road trip. This
includes oil changes, tire pressure & rotation, coolant levels, etc.
* Always wear seatbelts and use car seats for infants and children.
* NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS ALONE IN CARS ON HOT DAYS!! Even with windows down, temperatures climb quickly.
* Thirst is a late sign of dehydration. Drink clear fluids, or sports drinks, frequently on hot days.
* Wear helmets, elbow pads, knee pads and wrist protection when biking, skateboarding or rollerblading.
* When bike riding, know the rules! Ride with traffic and not against! Know the proper hand signals for turning and
stopping! Wear light or bright colored clothing so you are easily seen! Never ride at night! Watch for vehicles turning
in front of you!
* Adults need to know all the rules when operating a boat or other watercraft. Always wear a PFD (personal flotation
device) when on the water!
CHRISTMAS TREES IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS
RULES THAT APPLY TO THE USE OF CHRISTMAS TREES INSIDE PUBLIC BUILDINGS:
Natural cut trees, where allowed by this section, shall have the trunk bottoms cut off at least 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) above the original cut and shall be placed in a support device complying with Indiana Fire Code (IFC) Section 806.1.2.
Natural cut trees shall be prohibited in (Churches, Gyms, Restaurants, Taverns, Libraries, Schools, Daycares, Nursing Homes, Assisting Living Centers, Hospitals, Hotels, Apartments, Retail Stores, Mercantile Store and etc) Group A, E, I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4, M, R-1, R-2 and R-4 occupancies. IFC 806.1
1. Trees located in areas protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with IFC Section
903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 shall not be prohibited in Groups A, E, M, R-1 and R-2.
2. Trees shall be allowed within dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies.
IFC 806.1.2 Support devices.
The support device that holds the tree in an upright position shall be of a type that is stable and that meets all of the following
1. The device shall hold the tree securely and be of adequate size to avoid tipping over of the tree.
2. The device shall be capable of containing a minimum two-day supply of water.
3. The water level, when full, shall cover the tree stem at least 2 inches (51 mm). The water level shall be maintained above
the fresh cut and checked at least once daily.
IFC 806.1.3 Dryness.
The tree shall be removed from the building whenever the needles or leaves fall off readily when a tree branch is shaken or
if needles are brittle and break when bent between the thumb and index finger. The tree shall be checked daily for dryness.
IFC 806.1.4 A natural cut tree.
At least two (2) days prior to placing a natural cut tree in a public building the fire department having jurisdiction shall be
IFC 806.2 Artificial vegetation.
Artificial decorative vegetation shall meet the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701. Meeting the flame
propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701 shall be documented and certified by the manufacturer in an approved
IFC 806.3 Obstruction of means of egress.
The required width of any portion of a means of egress shall not be obstructed by decorative vegetation.
IFC 806.4 Open flame.
Candles and open flames shall not be used on or near decorative vegetation. 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.
IFC 806.5 Electrical fixtures and wiring.
The use of unlisted electrical wiring and lighting on natural cut trees and artificial decorative vegetation shall be prohibited. The
use of electrical wiring and lighting on artificial trees constructed entirely of metal shall be prohibited.
Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be a substitute for permanent wiring. Extension cords and flexible cords shall not
be affixed to structures, extended through walls, ceilings or floors, or under doors or floor coverings, nor shall such cords
be subject to environmental damage or physical impact. Extension cords shall be used only with portable appliances.
Extension cords shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle, power tap or multiplug adapter and, except for
approved multiplug extension cords, shall serve only one portable appliance. IFC 605.5.1
The ampacity of the extension cords shall not be less than the rated capacity of the portable appliance supplied by the
cord. IFC 605.5.2
Extension cords shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration or damage. IFC 605.5.3
Extension cords shall be grounded when serving grounded portable appliances. IFC 605.5.4
Portable, electric space heaters shall not be plugged into extension cords. IFC 605.10.3
Portable, electric space heaters shall not be operated within 3 feet (914 mm) of any combustible materials. Portable, electric
space heaters shall be operated only in locations for which they are listed. IFC 605.10.4
Natural or "real" Christmas trees are allowed in private dwellings or in the interior of individual apartments however fire officials
offer those same fire safety recommendations as related to preventing your tree from drying out, the approved electrical cord
use, lighting of the tree, use of open flame devices nearby, portable heaters nearby and keeping your paths of egress
unobstructed. These issues become even more important in your home, where you sleep and you live with your loved ones.
And as always, make sure your smoke detector is in good working condition before installing your new Christmas tree.