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How to protect your Christmas tree from burning down your house

Many people prefer to have a real Christmas tree in their homes during the Christmas season. But make sure to keep the tree fresh, so it doesn’t get dry and possibly burn down your house.

Real Christmas trees are a holiday tradition. Cutting a few inches off the end of the trunk will help keep it fresh and last longer.

“When you pick your tree, make sure that you’re picking a good tree, a green tree,” Glade Prestwich, prevention officer for the Idaho Falls Fire Department, said. “Feel it to make sure the needles aren’t falling off.”

Keeping your Christmas tree watered is the most important part of tree care. A dry tree can go up in flames in seconds. Make sure the water in the tree stand is never below the trunk adn try to add water daily. The location of the tree is also important.

“Once you’re in the house, positioning it in a place where it’s not going to get hit by the air flow from a heater vent or a fan,” Aaron McCracken, vice president of Sunnyside Gardens, said. “Keeping it away from a fireplace where it might be warmer than normal. Just in a place that has minimal airflow and just, you know, normal room temperatures.”

Be sure not to overload power strips and check the lights you use on your tree.

“Make sure that you’re using good lights,” Prestwich said. “That the cords are in good shape, they’re not frayed or broken in any way, that your bulbs are replaced in good working order.”

There are ways to protect your tree from going up in flames.

“There are some fire retardants that we can spray on the tree that will preserve them better adn be a flame retardant if in case they ever do catch fire,” McCracken said. “You can also flock your trees, like with the white flocking, that also acts as a fire retardant.”

McCracken also says some of the best types of Christmas trees that last long are Noble Fir and Alpine fir.

If your tree does go up in flames, the best thing to do is just get out of the house. The city will have tree disposal sites after Christmas to help get rid of your tree.

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