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Firefighters Urge Caution with Christmas Trees, Lights & Ornaments

The Fargo Fire Department would like to caution residents who choose to use a natural pine Christmas tree this holiday season. In previous years, personal injuries and significant damage to homes have been caused from natural Christmas tree fires.

Equally important this holiday season is following all manufacturer guidelines for Christmas tree lights, ornaments and decorations, and keeping candles away from all of them. Christmas and New Year's are two of the top four days a year for candle fires.

Following these simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy:

• Don't put your live Christmas tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.

• Place trees away from heat sources, including fireplaces or heat vents. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.

• Keep the live tree stand filled with water at all times.

• Use only nonflammable decorations.

• Don't link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it's safe.

• Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.

• Avoid using lit candles; consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles

• Ensure that Christmas trees and other holiday decorations don't block an exit way.

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