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Considerations for Christmas tree safety

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Now that the Halloween costumes are off the shelves, stores have started promoting Christmas. Between the commercialization of Christmas and the mass appeal the holiday has, it is no wonder that stores seem to start earlier and earlier getting the decorations out each year.

The one piece a lot of people see as a must-have is a Christmas tree. With the lights and the ornaments, they can have appeal for even the biggest Scrooges. Whether you decide to celebrate with a real tree or a fake one, there are still risks to keep in mind. Having a tree in your home can present several potential risks, including:

  • Falling hazard. It is essential to have your tree as secure as possible in its stand. Even with a secure tree stand, however, a tree can still fall and injure you or a guest in your home. Consider placing your tree in a corner where it is more likely to fall against the wall than into living space where people and pets are.
  • Fire hazard. If you choose a real tree, keep in mind that a dry tree can be a significant fire hazard. If your tree is real, make sure it is not losing a lot of needles when you pick it up. Losing needles can be a sign that the tree was cut down a while ago and has already started to dry out. And, in the time leading up to Christmas Day, be sure to water the tree -- even more than you think you need to.
  • Fake trees fire risks. While many fake tree are fire resistant, they can still be fire hazards. Keep heat sources away from the tree and gifts, don't cover extension cords leading to the tree, and turn off the lights when you go to bed at night.

Dangerous decorations

The decorations on the tree can add to the risks of having a Christmas tree in your home. The biggest issue, of course, is the lights. Many people find that they need several strings of lights to have a tree that will really "pop," but they often ignore how many lights can be plugged into one strand. Pay attention to the recommendation on the box of lights.

Christmas trees can be a beautiful addition to your home and add an extra bit of excitement to the holiday. Playing it safe can help ensure that the season is even more fun for you and your loved ones.

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