(Owensboro) – Be fire smart this holiday season, especially when caring for your live Christmas tree.
The Daviess County Fire Department offers these safety tips, in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (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 2” 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 have the label of a recognized 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.
Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
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.
Choose holiday decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. Also, keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
For more safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), click here.