Nothing really keeps the spirit of the season alive in the workplace as the office Christmas tree. As you might expect, there are health and safety hazards that can arise as a result of an office Christmas tree being erected.

Office Christmas tree safety tips

Although health and safety issues with your office Christmas tree are unlikely, you still have to take precautions. Here are a few tips to help to ensure that co-workers and colleagues enjoy a merry, healthy and safe Christmas.

  • Buy a fresh tree – If you’re having a real tree in the office try and ensure it’s not dry. You can check by bouncing the tree on the floor and a fresh tree will keep its needles. Also try bending a few needles, they should bend easily and not snap. The trunk of a fresh tree is sticky to the touch from resin. Ask the tree seller to cut off a couple of inches from the bottom the trunk for optimal water uptake.
  • Keep the tree hydrated – Secure the tree in a stable base with a good water capacity and replenish the fluid daily. Well-watered trees are less of a fire hazard, whereas a dry and neglected tree can be a hazard and ignited very quickly.
  • Location, location, location – Keep the tree at least 3 feet away from heat vents, space heaters, radiators and fireplaces. Avoid room corners, fires that start in corners get hot quickly and spread faster than those near a flat wall. Also, the tree should never block exits from the room.
  • Careful with those lights! – Electrical malfunction is the cause of the vast majority of Christmas tree fires. Connect no more than three strands of lights to a single extension cord. Don’t run extension cords under rugs, across doorways, or near heaters. If possible, use a surge protector. Keep lights and cords away from the water in the tree stand, and from flammable materials like curtains. Unplug lights before leaving the office every night.

So, there are still a few things to think about with regard to the office Christmas tree. Be sure also not to decorate your tree with candles, check the needles regularly if it’s a real one and just enjoy the build up to the festive period as much as you can in the office. And, if you’re having a bit of a bash you might want to check out our blog on how to survive the work Christmas party here