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Fire in California a reminder of the potential danger of Christmas trees

Posted at 8:22 PM, Dec 18, 2018

Are you taking proper precautions to ensure your Christmas tree doesn’t go up in smoke?

On Monday, four people, including a child, were hospitalized with injuries from smoke inhalation from a fire caused by a child lighting a candle too close to a Christmas tree in San Diego.

According to a report by the National Fire Protection Association released in 2017, nearly 200 structure fires a year are blamed on Christmas trees. According to the report, fires originating from Christmas trees cause six deaths per year, on average.

One-in-four fires from Christmas trees start from heat source such as a candle.

Although buying an artificial tree likely decreases the risk of a fire, for every three fires sparked by a real Christmas tree, one is caused by an artificial tree.

The National Fire Protection Association released Christmas tree fire prevention tips:

· Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
· Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
· Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
· Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
· Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
· Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
· Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
· Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
· Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.