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Avoiding holiday hazards

Posted at 6:52 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 21:57:01-05

Now that Thanksgiving is over it's time to start getting into the Christmas spirit.

Christmas tree lots across Kern County opened their gates for business today.

And while the holidays should be a time of joy, there are many potential Christmas tree fire hazards that could ruin them if people don't take adequate precautions.

But before you put your tree up you want to be sure to make sure that your home and family are safe from any potential tree fires.

According the National Safety Council, Christmas tree fires account for more than 400 residential fires each year.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that each year there are approximately 500 Christmas tree fires. These cause more than 20 deaths, 117 injuries and $20 million in damages each year.

To avoid a holiday hazard, place your tree away from heat sources like the fire place and heaters.

Be careful not to overload your outlets.

Never place candles next to your tree.

You also want remember to water your tree daily.

You can purchase a preservative to drop into bowl of water which helps the tree absorb more water.

Another way to keep your tree from catching on fire is to flock it. The material that looks like snow is cornstarch and wood pulp and acts as a fire retardant.

If you want to keep your tree green there's also a clear retardant that can be sprayed on it.

When it comes to lights on your tree, Rick Collier at Alpine Christmas Trees recommend purchasing LED lights bulbs which produce a lot less heat than traditional incandescent light bulbs. "They get really hot and of the free gets dried and you keep your house at 85, you're going to get a faster drying tree and there is that fire hazard," said Collier.

You also want to make that your smoke detectors are working. Also be sure to turn off all Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving your home.

These simple steps will help to ensure your family and home are safe during this holiday season.