State Fire Marshal: Christmas tree fires can spread quickly - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State Fire Marshal: Christmas tree fires can spread quickly

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Though Christmas tree fires aren't common, the Iowa Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division is reminding you those fires can spread quickly -- and it's better to be safe than sorry.

When you're picking your tree, they suggest a buying a fresh one, with green needles that don't fall off when touched.

When you set up your spruce, be sure to cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk; keep it at least three feet away from any heat source, like a fireplace, radiator, candles, heat vent or hot lights; don't let your tree do not block home exits; and be sure to add water to your tree stand on a daily basis.

The DPS State Fire Marshal Division says that a heat source too close to a tree is the reason behind about one in every five tree fires.

One in three of those fires can be caused by electrical failures, so when you light your tree, be sure to use lights that have been lab-tested for indoor use.

If any strings of lights are broken or the bulb connections are loose, they recommend replacing those lights. They say never use lit candles to decorate the area, and remember to turn the lights off when leaving the house or going to bed.

After Christmas, when you're planning on getting rid of the tree make sure you don't leave a dry tree in your home or garage. Many communities offer recycling programs for old trees when the holiday season is over.

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