LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, families are flocking to farms to grab their perfect Christmas tree. But, there's a big fire risk associated with placing a real tree in your home.
"I haven't had a real tree in my home since I was a child," said Lake Charles Fire Chief Keith Murray. "The minute I became a fireman I realized how bad it was."
According to the National Fire Protection Association, follow the following tips, if you plan to have a real tree:
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that don't fall off when touched
- Before placing a tree in a stand, cut 2 inches off the base of the trunk
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from space heaters, candles, and fireplaces
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit
- Continue to add water to the tree stand daily
- Never light a tree with real candles
- Use lights listed by a qualified testing laboratory (some lights are made for the indoors, others the outdoors)
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before going to bed
Murray suggests buying an artificial Christmas tree. He said though they are normally more expensive, most are fire retardant and already lit.
For more Christmas tree fire prevention tips, click here.