A Christmas tree, even one treated to be flame retardant, is capable of burning explosively, spreading the fire throughout your home quickly. Following the Christmas tree safety recommenda-tions below will help prevent this tragedy from occurring in your home.

Choose your tree carefully

– A live tree which can be planted after Christmas will be more likely to stay fresh throughout the season than a cut tree. Choose a healthy one and water it moderately while in the house.

– When choosing a cut tree, look for freshness; the needles should be difficult to pull from the branches and should not break when bent between your fingers.

– If purchasing an artificial tree, choose one that is labeled fire resistant.

Consider Where You Are Placing Your Tree and Furniture!

– Position the tree away from fireplaces, heat registers, direct sunlight and other sources of heat that can cause the tree to dry out prematurely or even ignite it.

– If rearranging furniture to make room for the tree, maintain clearance from sources of heat while maintaining safe exit ways and passageways.

Keep cut tree fresh

– Once home, spray the tree with water to remove dead needles and dust, then cut 2 inches off the base and immerse the cut end into water immediately.

– Place the tree in a sturdy stand, capable of holding a large amount of water.

– Check the water in the tree stand often. An average tree can consume a quart to gallon of water every day.

Decorating the tree

– When installing the lights on a fresh tree or an artificial tree check for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear.

– Do not leave holiday lights unattended. Only use UL approved lighting.

– Do not overload outlets. Connect strings of light per instructions on the box.

– Avoid using lit candles. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they can not be easily knocked over.

– Never leave the house with candles burning. If you have candles in glass holders add an extra glass holder underneath the first one. When the candle starts to burn closer to the bottom of the original container it can put off a lot of heat.