Mary Alice Reporting – Residents who enjoy a real tree in their house over the holidays is asked to keep a few safety tips in mind.

The biggest hazard comes when a live tree is not properly watered, which causes it to dry out and become a dangerous fire hazard.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Director of Public Education Andrea Vastis says that, from 2014 to 2018, there were 160 Christmas tree fires nationwide and while these blazes are not often, they tend to be serious with injuries and millions of dollars in damage.

“Water them every day. This is one of those things that you need to designate someone in the house. Checking the tree to make sure that the needles aren’t getting dried out because as soon as that tree is dried out and no longer green and supple and drinking water, it is time to move it on.”

Other tips include placing any Christmas tree away from heating sources, like fireplaces, candles, heat vents, or lights.

On average, one of every 52 reported home fires, which began with a Christmas tree, resulted in a death.

Vastis adds that, in 44% of home tree fires, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved.

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