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12 days to a fire-safe Christmas: Keep tree healthy

POSTED: December 23, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem, but a dry and neglected tree can be.

Tips:

  • Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches. Needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut.
  • The trunk should be sticky to the touch.
  • Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and probably has dried out. This is certainly a fire hazard.
  • Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited.
  • Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
  • Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
  • When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
  • Above all, keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

With the onset of the holiday season, it is important to focus on fire safety and prevention. For 12 days, Hall County Fire Services will be providing tips for making your holidays safe. For more information, contact Lt. Beverley Walker with Hall County Fire Services at 770-531-6838.



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