SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is issuing a warning about fire risks associated with Christmas trees and holiday decorations.
Tree cause 250 home fires a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Another 170 home fires involve holiday lights. These fires resulted in 21 deaths and 43 injuries.
Tree fires usually start in dry or neglected trees. Shorts in electrical lights or open flames are also a hazard.
Firefighters have recommendations for your family's safety.
Buying a tree:
- Needles should be green and should not break
- The tree should be sticky to touch
- No needles should fall when you bounce the tree trunk on the ground
- Choose a sturdy tree stand designed not to tip over
- Always use lights designated for either indoor or outdoor use
- Never use electric lights on a metal tree
- Throw away lights with loose bulbs, or worn, frayed or broken cords
- Always unplug lights before leaving home or going to bed
- Place candles well away from tree branches
- Don't place your tree near a fireplace or heat vent