By SALLY SEXTON
BROCK — Opportunities to support the Brock-Dennis Volunteer Fire Department and Brock ISD are currently available through the purchase of Christmas trees.
Brock-Dennis VFD has a wide selection of Nobles and Normans, from 6- to 14-feet high, at a tent at the Silver Star Village in the north end of Brock along FM 1189. Hours of operation are 1-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 12:30-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
“Fifty percent of the profits will go toward the Brock National Junior Honor Society, so it’s a way for us all to benefit,” Brock-Dennis Lt. Jeff O’Neal said. “The money is great but for us, it’s all about giving back to the community.”
Honor society members help out by manning the tables and taking money during the hours of operation, O’Neal said.
Tree prices range from $105 to $230.
“We bought about 50 trees from the local farmer’s market so again, we’re supporting the community,” O’Neal said. “If we run out of these, we’ll probably go and pick up another 25 at least.
The event, in its third year, has seen success in recent years. The Christmas tree sale is just one of many different fund-raisers that the BDVFD conducts.
While fund-raising and community support are key for the event, O’Neal said the sale is another way to educate the public on fire safety, as the department posts video and safety tips for preventing house fires around the holidays.
Some of the tips include:
• Picking the tree: Artificial trees should be labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardent. “Live” trees should have fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched.
• Placing the tree: Before placing a tree in its stand, cut 1 to 2 inches from the base of the trunk. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. It’s also important to make sure a tree is not blocking an exit, and to add water to the tree stand daily.
• Lighting the tree: Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights specify indoor or outdoor use only, but not both. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three stands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Lit candles should never be used to decorate and tree, and it’s also important to remember to turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
“The thing to remember about Christmas trees, especially if they’re dry, is that they can burn hot and burn fast,” O’Neal said.
For more safety tips, go to www.bdvfd.com.