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Wired for Christmas

Tips for tree shopping

(HealthDayNews) -- 'Tis the season, and for many people half the fun is hauling Christmas trees into their living rooms and draping them in shimmering lights. But electrically wired trees can also pose fire hazards.

The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission suggests these safety tips:

  • When shopping for an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." This doesn't mean the tree can't catch fire, but it does indicate it will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
  • If you're looking for a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green with needles that are hard to pull from the branches -- and when bent between your fingers, the needles don't snap.
  • When setting the tree up at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, make sure the stand is always filled with water.
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