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Be aware of fire hazards around live trees this season



live christmas tree
By DR04 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

For many of us, it’s just not Christmas until the tree is up and decorated, and for some, there’s nothing like the scent and feel of a live tree.

While live Christmas trees are wonderful, they can present a fire hazard, especially as the tree dries out.

To keep you and your loved ones safe, the State Fire Marshal’s Office recommends the following fire safety measures for live trees and holiday decorations:

  • Use holiday decorations made with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
  • Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings and replace damaged items before plugging lights in. Use lights approved by Underwriter’s Laboratories.
  • Do not overload extension cords.
  • Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and make sure any lit candles in the room are placed away from tree branches.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Take the tree down when it becomes dry. Recycle it, use it as a fish shelter in a farm pond or put it out with the trash. Do not burn it in the fireplace. Heat may explode the wood and set the room on fire.

For more fire safety information, visit the Mississippi Fire Marshal website.

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