The holidays are here and most of us are looking forward to the hustle and bustle and the smiles on children's faces across the commonwealth.

Listeners of "Slater and Marjo In The Morning" may have heard us talking about the pros and cons of real Christmas trees versus artificial trees.

Real Trees:

They smell amazing.

They're biodegradable.

They improve mood.

But...

You gotta water them.

Needles get everywhere.

They cost money every year.

They can be a fire hazard.

This Is A Cause Of Winter House Fires In Massachusetts

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Unfortunately, the downside of a real tree in your home is that it can dry out (usually if left up into the month of January). If your tree does dry out, it can act like kindling, igniting super fast and spreading quickly.

The following are some helpful tips to prevent disaster.

PICKING THE TREE

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

PLACING THE TREE

• 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.

LIGHTING THE TREE

• Use lights that are listed by a qualified 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.

Information courtesy of nfpa.org

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