Holiday safety tips: Think safe when caring for live Christmas trees

KATV photo

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -- With Thanksgiving behind us, people are gearing up for Christmas.

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, the National Fire Protection Association says when they do happen, they are more likely to be serious.

Experts say by following the proper safety measures, you can make your holidays safer.

Chopping down a live tree is a tradition for Peter Doolen's family.

This year, they took that holiday tradition to Motley's Christmas Tree Farm in Little Rock.

"We do it mainly for our kids," he said. "They like to come out and help pick out the Christmas tree and take it down."

Farm owner Randy Motley opened for business last weekend.

On a busy day, he says he will sell close to 300 live trees.

But live trees are flammable, and can be dangerous.

Motley says educating customers on how to care for the trees at home is key.

"I know everyone has heard re-cut the base on the tree, but we do that here," Motley said. "The most important thing you can do is make sure it has water."

When you set up your tree at home, Motley says pick a spot at least three feet away from any heat source.

"If you make sure the tree is not over or under an air vent, that helps a lot," he said.

With the proper care, Motley says live trees can be very safe.

Fire experts also recommend being cautious of how many strings of lights you put on your tree.

Another tip is to use a surge protector and turn your Christmas tree lights off before going to bed or leaving your home.

Between 2012 to 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 170 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year.

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