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Oh, Christmas Tree...

The Thanksgiving Day turkey has settled, the holiday shopping is in full swing and the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree is happening across the country. Whether you choose a real or artificial tree, you may want to consider a few tips to help keep you and your home a little safer this festive season.  


Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.

Cut your own

Many local tree farms offer the opportunity to choose and cut your own tree. You can put your tree-cutting skills to the test, lock in the freshness of a newly cut tree, and even start a new family tradition. 

 Hydration is key

Help keep your tree fire resistant and looking great by watering it within 24 hours of being cut. According to, studies have shown that water works just as well at keeping your tree fresh than anything additional added to the water.

 Fire Hazards 

Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid drying the tree out and making it more flammable.  Also don’t forget to unplug. Bedtime means “lights off” even for your tree. Say goodnight to those lovely branches and turn your Christmas tree lights off each night. 

Choking hazards 

Pay special attention when hanging ornaments on your Christmas tree. If ingested, your holiday decorations could quickly become a choking hazard for your young child or pet. Consider placing ornaments higher up on the tree, and out of reach of little hands or paws. Also pay close attention to your animals that may wish to make the tree lights a chew toy. This presents a shock hazard for your pet. 


Place your Christmas tree in a corner and out of sight for your pet. If this doesn’t keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place bells, or anything else that creates noise on the tree’s bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.

 Allergic Reactions 

A study by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported in the December 2007 U.S. News & World Report that live Christmas trees can adversely affect indoor air quality. The study was originally conducted because of the increase of asthma and sinus complaints among patients each winter. So if you have asthma you may want to choose a fake Christmas tree to prevent holiday flair ups. However, artificial trees can also trigger allergic reactions, especially if they have been improperly stored and are carrying significant amounts of dust. Some of the materials used to manufacture artificial Christmas trees could also cause sinus irritation for those who are especially sensitive. Keep this in mind when hosting family and friends this holiday season. Ask your guests before they arrive if they have any allergies to authentic trees.