Christmas tree fire warning

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With the holiday season underway, comes certain dangers associated with Christmas trees. Whether in a house, apartment or business, real Christmas trees need special care. Under-watered Christmas trees can lead to fires. Even after the tree is discarded, the danger remains.

With that in mind, Nassau County officials held a controlled burn Thursday in Old Bethpage to demonstrate just how fast and destructive a Christmas tree fire can be.


It is important to regularly water your tree and dispose of it properly.

Here are Christmas tree safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.

Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect.

Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.