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Christmas trees are festive but can be fire hazards

Tips to keep you and your home safe
Posted at 11:25 PM, Nov 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-24 23:25:19-05

Thanksgiving weekend is also known as the busiest time to buy live trees for Christmas.  You'll soon start to see trees are popping up on corners, lots and at volunteer fire houses.  But fire experts are warning us to treat our trees carefully so unexpected fires don't spoil the holidays.

Buying that fragrant Christmas tree can really put you in the holiday spirit and shoppers we spoke to know what goes into taking care of them to prevent fires.

"We always water it.  We probably check the water at least every day and make sure we top it off," said Jessica Lahourcade

And that's the best thing you can do.  The National Fire Protection Association says on average, one of every 31 reported Christmas tree fires results in death.  One shopper said she takes extra precautions.

"We always turn the lights off anytime that we're not home and we actually turn the heat down in the room that we have tree in, especially when were not home."

You should also measure your space and get a tree that fits your space,  make sure the tree you pick is fresh.  Always look for signs of excessive dryness; which can make a beautiful tree a hazard. 

Cynthia Mann a nursery specialist at Valley View Farms said, "One thing we always do here is when we sell you a fresh cut tree we always give you a nice new cut at the end of the tree that helps the tree absorb water."

When a tree is cut, more than half its weight is water, proper care is good for the tree and your home. 

"You really need to for the first week or more you need to constantly keep it full it will it will drink a lot of water very fast and never let it dry out, that's key," said Mann.

It's the surrounding items in your home, gifts, drapes, and furniture that are first to burn in a tree fire, so make sure it's set up in safe place.

"Keep it away from any heating sources no radiators, be careful with your lights, turn them off when you're not there.  Make sure that you're not plugging in too many lights to one socket," Mann said.

Trees should even be kept away from direct sunlight and lowering the temperature in the room will slow the drying process to ensure you enjoy your tree safely. 

Once your tree is too dry, you should get rid of it.  Also make sure those smoke alarms are working on every floor of your home, including the basement.