Christmas trees are a traditional part of many families’ holiday celebrations. While they add to the festive spirit of the season, it is important to take a few basic safety precautions.  

Before purchasing a tree, make sure to inspect it for freshness. Check for signs of mold, fungus, drooping branches, and discolored needles. Select a tree with a scent that is earthy and strong. Avoid those with a dusky or musty smell.  

Be sure that your tree is fire resistant. Real trees are made of flammable material, so the Department of Consumer Protection recommends having a Class A or UL-listed stand for added safety. Be sure to place the tree away from any potential flammable sources, such as the fireplace, and to turn the tree lights off before leaving the house or going to bed.  

Prepare your tree for decoration by making a fresh cut across the base and soaking its trunk in a bucket of water for one to two days before putting it in a stand. When it comes to actual decoration, use only lights and ornaments that are fire-retardant material. Many decorations and tree lights are now available with a built-in safety fuse that wires in series, making them much safer.  

Finally, get rid of your tree as soon as it begins to dry. Burning a dry Christmas tree can be dangerous because it can ignite quickly. Don’t let Christmas turn into a tragedy, so make sure to keep safety in mind this holiday season!