On Your Side: Preventing Christmas tree fire hazards

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Each year, homes are destroyed by improperly cared-for Christmas trees, according to fire officials.

What usually happens – the pine needles dry out, and the heat from the lights cause a fire.

On Thursday, Rural Metro Fire – Knox County, performed a demonstration of just how quickly things can go wrong. They’re looking to educate the public about what not to do – in hopes of preventing a tragedy.

RMF spokesman Jeff Bagwell said there are steps you can take to prevent a Christmas tree fire.

“We need to keep it away from combustible items, away from drapes, away from chairs, furniture, fireplace, space heaters, things like that,” Bagwell said. “The second thing is, to watch the lights that you put on them. Use the newer LED lights or the type of lights that don’t generate heat.”

Bagwell going on to say the older the style of lights, which had the halogen bulbs that screwed in to generate a lot of heat – the worse off your Christmas tree may be.

“If you’re not watering the tree and keeping water in the base of it… it can easily catch on fire from inside the tree,” he said.

The best thing to do for your tree is to keep your tree in water – a regular tree stand can hold up to a gallon of water. To keep the tree fresh, the bottom, two inches of the trunk should be submerged – meaning a water refill daily.

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