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Christmas tree safety
Every year Christmas trees start fires. You can prevent most of these fires by following simple rules. First off, choose a recently cut, healthy tree. A fresh tree holds moisture
better. Grab a tree branch and run your hand over it—no more than a
few needles should fall off. As soon as you get the tree home, cut 1/2 in. off the
trunk and place the tree in a bucket of water until you're ready to bring it into
the house. When you set the tree up to decorate it, make sure it's stable in the
stand and won't tip over, and water it frequently. A 6-ft. tree needs about 1 gallon
of water every other day.
When decorating, use lights rated for indoor use that don't create heat
(such as LED lights). And don't overload your electrical outlet. If you want
to power dozens of strands of lights and other electric decorations, plug
them into different circuits around the house. If you continually blow a circuit,
it's probably overloaded.
Here are some other tips:
- Don't use electric lights on a metal tree.
- Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.
A new Christmas Tree Safety System by LifeKeeper is designed to
detect low water in the tree stand and send a warning if a fire starts (see
photo). Place the system's low water detector in the tree stand. It'll send an
audio alert and trigger flashing lights on the attached heat sensor angel if the
water level gets too low.
The ornamental angel, attached to the tree, signals a remote alarm if it
senses heat, warning you that a fire could start or has started. The alarm plugs
into the wall. To buy the system, visit Christmastreesafetysystem.com.