DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – How long do you leave your tree up after Christmas? According to the U.S. Fire Administration, it may be better to take it down sooner rather than later.

Dayton Police and Fire posted on Facebook reminding people that it’s time to take down their festively decorated trees, especially if they are “real” trees.

Once a real Christmas tree dries out, it turns into kindling that can catch fire very easily, erupting into dangerous flames while in your home, the post says. After Christmas, or as soon as the tree dries out, it is a good idea to get rid of this major fire hazard.

“The longer trees remain in homes, the higher the fire risk,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon. “Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home, garage or placed outside against the house.”

According to a release by Ohio’s State Fire Marshal, a third of the home fires involving Christmas trees happen in January.

So what can you do with the tree when you’re done? Many local communities have a recycling program where parks can repurpose trees as a habitat for a variety of wildlife. According to the ODNR, Caeser Creek State Park accepts tree donations until January 17 at the North Pool Boat Ramp.

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