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Christmas Tree and Decorating Safety Tips

As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. Most home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical failures or a heat source too close to the tree. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.

Follow these decorating tips to deck your halls safely:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand daily.
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights may be only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands you may safely connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Fire prevention continues after the holidays. Bring in outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer, and be sure to get rid of your 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.

This year, Garland residents may bring their trees to the Recycling Drop-Off Center from Dec. 27, 2016, through Jan. 7, 2017, to help free up space in the landfill. Trees also can be dropped off at the Wood Recycling Facility during regular business hours. Both tree recycling services are free of charge. Call 972-205-3500 for more information.

For additional fire safety information, visit GarlandFire.com.