JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Christmas trees are beautiful, festive and potentially dangerous.
Captain Kevin Prince with the Jonesboro Fire Department said Region 8 residents need to think about the type of tree and decorations they pick for the holidays.
"There is always a difference between an artificial tree and a real tree," Prince said. "The live tree takes a lot more tender, love, and care. Once it's cut, it's separated from its water source. Make sure your Christmas tree is truly a conifer style, and they require a whole lot of water. So, once you bring your live tree in, they advise that you cut an extra half of the base off and put it into water. Now, you have to keep that tree stand full of water all the time."
The amount of water needed is determined by how large the tree is.
"If you do not keep your tree stand full of water," Prince said. "The tree stresses and starts to dry out. This can cause a problem depending on the type of lights you use. Some folks are still traditional. They like the old bulb style. Those large bulbs really put off a lot of light. The problem with the old bulb style is they generate more heat. And the more heat you generate, of course, the more likely you could have a fire caused by the fact that the tree itself is drying out and the bulbs are laying against the branches. Poof, you have a fire."
Prince said the older bulb lights also draw more amps from your power source.
"With the newer LED style lights," Prince said. "You can attach far more strands because they have such a low amp draw."
Prince said people should also think about their pets.
"So many people do not even realize if you have cats in the house," Prince said. "They will chew tinsel garland. The tinsel garland will break off and enter into their stomachs and cause problems for them."
Prince also said you should be mindful of any paper ornaments you decide to put on their tree.
Remember, they're flammable.
Make sure the only thing this year that's lighting up your tree are the decorations.
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