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Christmas tree safety

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The sparkling Christmas tree is a beloved tradition reaching back hundreds of years. Glimmering lights, colorful ornaments, a star on top and presents below, the holiday would hardly be complete without one. It should be noted, however, that the tree can pose a safety hazard if proper precautions are not taken.

While uncommon, Christmas tree fires are a definite hazard to watch out for. With an average of 230 house fires caused by a tree every year, it’s well worth the effort to ensure your holiday season will be free from unwanted flames. Here are a few tips to fireproof your Christmas!


1. Fresh trees are at much less risk of catching fire
. When shopping, look for a verdant green tree with firmly anchored needles. If the tree has brown patches or needles that fall off easily, it’s likely dry and thus more likely to catch on fire. On that note, if you want a live tree it’s best to wait until a week or two before christmas to buy the tree. If you choose to purchase one in early December, it will definitely dry out before the month is done–leading to both an irritating mess and a fire hazard!
2. Ensure lights are safe for the tree. Lights placed on the tree should be labeled as safe, and always check for broken lights and frayed wire before putting them up. If the lights or cord are damaged, it’s time to replace them!
3. Keep all sources of flame well away from the tree. The christmas tree should not be placed near a fireplace or kitchen, and candles should be kept away from it, as well as any furniture or decorations near the tree.
4. Lights out means lights out! Always remember to unplug christmas lights before leaving the tree unattended–before going to work, school, or bed.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year–and it only takes a few minutes to keep it that way. Stay safe, everyone, and happy holidays!

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The student news site of Summerville High School.
Christmas tree safety