Health Tip: Prevent a Christmas Tree Fire

Consider a fire-retardant artificial tree

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(HealthDay News) -- Christmas trees may be bright and merry, but they can pose a fire hazard if you're not careful.

The National Fire Protection Association offers these suggestions to help prevent holiday tree fires:

  • Choose an artificial tree that's labeled fire-retardant.
  • If opting for a live tree, select one with needles that are green and fresh and do not fall off easily. Get rid of the live tree as soon as it dries out.
  • Cut an inch from the base of the tree before placing it in the stand, and make sure the stand contains water.
  • Trees should be placed at least 3 feet away from any source of heat, such as radiators, candles, fireplaces, heating vents or lights.
  • Never light a tree with candles.
  • Choose lights certified by an independent testing lab, and replace any strands with broken or loose bulbs. Don't connect too many strands together.
  • Turn off Christmas lights when you aren't at home and when you go to bed.

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