Always choose a freshly cut tree. To test a tree, strike the stump down on a firm surface. If needles fall off, the tree is too dry.
Consider buying a live tree instead. You can plant it later to enjoy it for years to come.
When you are ready to set the tree up cut off 1/2 to 1 inch from the bottom of the tree before placing in the stand which should be filled with hot water (not boiling, but around 130-160º F) as soon as the tree is set up.
The tree could absorb as much as four litres of water the first day.
Use wire or nylon cord to secure the tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent it from being knocked over by children or pets
Place the tree away from heat sources and, of course, from sparks and open flame.
Always keep the tree well watered. Check and refill often.
Use only noncombustible decorations.
Check and replace any worn or damaged light sets. It is a good practice to replace any set that is more that four or five years old.
Use only CSA or ULC approved light strings; Spot or floodlights should only be used on an artificial tree; NO CANDLES!
Avoid overloading electrical circuits or creating "octopus" connections
Do not use cellophane. There is no way to make it flameproof.
Do not use cotton batting -- including Santa's whiskers -- or paper decorations unless they have been treated with a flame-retardant treatment.
Disconnect the lights at bedtime or when unattended.
Use miniature lights that produce less heat.
Make sure there in an operational smoke detector installed nearby.
Remove discarded wrappings and packages from the house immediately and never burn them in the woodstove or fireplace - it could cause a chimney fire.
Do not burn tree branches in the fireplace - it could throw off a large amount of heat and cause an uncontrolled fire. Christmas trees also cause an oily soot which may damage the fireplace.