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Christmas Trees 101: How Not to Burn Down Your Holiday Centerpiece

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This year, welcome Santa Claus without flames in the fireplace — or engulfing your tree.

As families across the country bring trees into their homes for Christmas and trim them with lights and ornaments, it’s important to remember some basic care for your festive fir.

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Trees will dry out while indoors over the holidays, and brittle branches can catch fire more easily when paired with hot strands of bulbs. It’s important to designate a family member to take on tree watering on a daily basis. Early hall deckers need to be especially cautious: the longer your cut tree is up, the higher the risk of it becoming too dry and flammable.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, adequate water amounts can be determined by stem diameter. Trees should always be standing in 1 quart of water for every inch the trunk is wide.

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Last year alone, nearly 14,000 consumers were treated for injuries related to holiday decorating during the two-month season.

So be careful! Look after your tree and ensure that it’s only chestnuts — not your living room — that’s roasting on an open fire this year.