MOUNTAIN AREA — The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) wants to remind everyone that, as you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly, they say.
Here are some tips from the NFPA:
Picking the tree:
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree:
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand.
- Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree:
- Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry.
- Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
- Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
- Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
FACTS: According to the NFPA, one-quarter of the home Christmas tree fires are cause by electrical problems. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every four of the fires.
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