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Follow these safety tips for your Christmas tree - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Follow these safety tips for your Christmas tree

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Every holiday season, hundreds of residential fires start with a Christmas tree.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 200 home fires each year start with a Christmas tree.

In these videos, NIST fire researchers demonstrate what could happen if a fire starts in a watered Christmas tree vs. a dry Christmas tree.

For Christmas tree safety tips, visit the NFPA website.

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 an independent 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.

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas. 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.
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