How to prevent Christmas tree fires this holiday season

Christmas tree-related fires are rare -- but when they do occur, they are much more likely to be deadly than other types of fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Follow these tips from AccuWeather to keep your family safe from Christmas tree fires this holiday season:

  • Make sure you choose a tree with green needles. If the needles look brown, that means the tree is dry and likely more flammable. Also give the tree a good shake -- if it loses a lot of needles, it's likely too dry. Trees don't burst into flames on their own, but when they are dry, it's a lot easier for them to catch fire.
  • Real trees need to be kept moist and watered at all times. Make sure the water isn't too cold, which could shock the tree. Add nutrients to the water, like a fully dissolved tablespoon of sugar, to keep the tree healthy.
  • Try using a humidifier to create extra humidity in the room where your tree is located to prevent the tree and its needles from drying out.
  • Keep the tree several feet away from any fireplace or other open flames like a candle.
  • Check the lights you use to decorate your tree. If they look worn out or have frayed wires or cracked lamps, it's time to get new lights.
  • When you're not at home, turn off and unplug your Christmas lights. That also goes for when you're sleeping.

SEE ALSO: How to recycle your Christmas tree
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Of the 25 to 30 million trees sold in North America every year, about 93% get recycled, according to AccuWeather.

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