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:

  1. 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.
  2. Christmas tree’s shall be allowed in all other type occupancies provided that the building is protected throughout with an automatic fire sprinkler system.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Trees shall not be placed as to obstruct or impede egress from the building.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The use of electrical wiring and lighting on metal artificial trees is strictly prohibited.
  9. 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.