POSTED: Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 9:18pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 1:51pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — The holidays are here and that means it's time for many families in the borderland to decorate.
But there's also a real danger as experts say. One of every three Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical failures.
There are many options people are faced with when picking the right tree. From artificial ones to living trees. Regardless of which one you choose, these tips will help save not only your tree from catching fire, they will save your home.
Your holiday tree - it can bring the family together but it can also burn down your home if you're not careful. The folks over at Northeast Plant World Nursery know their ins-and-outs when it comes to choosing the right tree including how to keep it from catching fire.
"You need to measure the height of your ceiling. Pick a tree that's going to be at least a foot less than that ceiling height,” Penny Treacher, the Assistant Manager at the store said.
The National Fire Protection Agency, or NFPA, says check the label of your lights -- some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. "With the sap flow in the tree you have more moisture and therefore less likely to dry on you,” Treacher said of living trees, which are the kinds of holiday trees they sell at the nursery.
Artifical trees with built in lights are also an option. "For the last few years, a lot of years we've had an artificial tree. But once in a while we've had a real tree,” Claudia Wood of Northeast El Paso told us.
But with any kind of tree -- the NFPA says to keep holiday decorations at least 3 feet away from heat sources.
One of the many things you can do to make sure a tree is safe for your family home is to touch the green needles and make sure that when you do touch it, it doesn't fall off. "I would suggest on any tree that you don't put it near a fireplace or heater vent because that will dry them out quicker,” Treacher advised.
These tips can help brighten your home. "Of course you don't want cords sitting in water, so you need to make sure you handle that properly.” Without burning down your house.
The folks over at the nursery also advise to water your tree with ice cubes. This allows the tree to get the moisture it needs without overwatering it.