As the lights and decorations adorn many Christmas trees during the holidays, it is also important to be aware of fire safety concerns to help keep your family safe. The following are some Christmas tree safety tips courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.

• Types of trees. Check the labels on artificial trees to confirm they are fire retardant, which means they are less susceptible to fire. Keep fresh cut trees watered so they don’t dry out. Thus, they are less susceptible to catching on fire.

• Do not place the tree near a heat source. Even freshly cut and flame retardant trees can catch fire, so it’s important that trees are not placed in close proximity to any heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, heating vents, baseboard heaters, and candles.

• Keep the tree clear of exits. A Christmas tree should never be placed in a spot that blocks an exit. Should an accident happen and the tree lights on fire, all exits should be easily accessible.

• Add water to the tree stand every day. Water should be added to the tree’s stand every day to prevent the tree from drying out. Many trees need water in the morning and at night. As the holiday season wears on, the tree will likely consume less water, but it’s still best to monitor the stand’s water levels every day.

• Inspect the lights frequently. Replace any loose or burned out bulbs, and inspect cords to make sure they are not worn or frayed. Follow the specific guidelines of the manufacturer instructions carefully when stringing lights. Many lights are exclusive to indoor or outdoor use, so be sure to use the appropriate lights for your indoor tree.

• Turn lights off before going to bed. Though a Christmas tree may look beautiful at night when no other lights are on, the lights on the tree should always be turned off before going to bed or leaving your home.

• Properly discard the tree. It’s best to discard a tree when it starts to drop needles. Do not place a discarded tree in the garage or lean it up against your home. If necessary, consult a local recycling company to determine the best way to discard your tree.

Piedmont HealthCare is committed to keeping you and your family safe through the holiday season and all year long. We wish all of our patients and their families a happy, healthy new year!