Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they are more likely to be serious due to several factors including a heat source too close to the tree, that causes roughly one in every four of the fires. PHOTO BY NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION
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TUCSON - Christmas is right around the corner and firefighters want to make sure you know how to properly care for your tree to prevent a fire. Real Christmas trees really make it feel like the holidays, but they can be incredibly dangerous this time of year if you’re not careful. “Make sure when you water the tree you water it almost to the top about three quarters of the way full,” said Battalion Chief John Walka with Rural Metro Fire. Watering your tree is the first simple step you can take to make sure your Christmas tree doesn’t go up in flames this holiday season. Despite their best efforts letting it dry out, Rural Metro Fire crews in Pima County couldn’t get a tree to quickly burn during a live demonstration for News 4 Tucson. Walka said that is partly because the needles are fresh.
“You can see the needles when I brush against it, the needles don’t fall off so this is a good tree to take home,” said Walka. Once you bring the tree home, again water it daily. Walka said you then need to be careful of wiring when you string lights around it. “Don’t abuse the extension cords, don’t overload the circuits as far as your strip adapters," said Walka.
"It’s the abuse of extension cords, using too many strands and abuse of using power strips because power strips when they’re overloaded, it can get hot quickly and easily ignite that tree,” he said. Walka also said strip adapters are also the number one cause of electrical fires for the home, accidental electrical fires. Be sure to keep your tree at a safe distance from anything that might catch fire and make sure to turn off the tree lights before you go to bed. Walka told News 4 Tucson that most Christmas tree fires in the United States happen in late December into January when those trees start to dry out so it is important to take all the precautions necessary to stay safe.
It is also highly critical to have a working smoke detector in your home.
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