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Keep your Christmas Tree safe this season

 

It gets dark early this time of year in Minneapolis. With the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year, less than two weeks away, it can feel as if it is so dim that you can leave your lights on all day. So, it is unsurprising that Christmas trees with all of their festive, twinkling lights are popular this time of year, marking the holiday and bringing some cheer to our often gloomy days and long, dark evenings.

 

And for many, nothing brings the season home more than the scent of a fresh cut pine or fir tree adorned with lights. That lovely tree, glowing nicely every night can be a wonderful addition to your holiday tradition. But don't let it become something else; a fire hazard. 

 

With a fresh tree, one of the most important factors in tree safety is keeping the tree well watered. You should check the reservoir under the tree and refill it every day. With forced air furnaces running around the clock and lights heating the air around the tree, there are plenty of sources that will dry your tree faster than you may imagine.

A dried out tree can be a very dangerous source of fire, with pine needles and tree resins acting like an accelerant to any ignition source. Keeping any potential source of fire or heat, such as candles or hot lights away from a tree is important.

Also, check all of your strings of lights, ensure that they are UL listed and are in good condition, with no frayed, separated or damaged segments. And do not overload outlets or extension cords in your lighting displays, as that is the leading cause of holiday fires.

There can be no worse end to the holidays than a fire involving a Christmas tree that burns down a home and potentially risks the lives of all those in the house.

Source: newsobserver.com, "Home Fix: How to prevent accidental Christmas tree fires," C. Dwight Barnett, Tribune News Service, December 7, 2015

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