Christmas tree fire safety tips: Here’s what you need to know

By WVUA 23 Reporter Gracie Johnson

Christmas trees are a big tradition, but if you’re not careful your big, beautiful tree can go up in a big, not-beautiful fireball.

Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Fire and Safety Educator Holly Whigham said the holiday months see more fires than the whole rest of the year.

“If you are decorating with your lights outside, you need to make sure that those lights are specified for outdoor use only,” said Whigham. ” If you have a real tree you also want to make sure you’re watering the tree daily and keep it away from any heat sources. Both artificial and live trees should be placed away from fireplaces, heaters or anything that could catch fire.”

Another recommendation? Keep your tree away from your HVAC vents because the extra airflow can dry out a live tree.

And make sure you’re not overloading your electrical outlets. Don’t plug in more than three cords into one outlet or extension cord.

The most important tip, though? Ensure your smoke alarms are installed correctly and working. That way if something does go wrong, you’ll be alerted and can escape quickly. Remember: Items are replaceable. You aren’t.

Need help with your smoke alarms? Call 311 or your local fire department. Most departments are more than happy to come out and help get your alarms in tip-top condition.

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