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Forum staff reports, Published December 07 2012

VIDEO: Fargo Fire Department stressing Christmas tree safety

FARGO - The Fargo Fire Department is stressing holiday tree safety in a new video.

Homeowners celebrating with Christmas trees should follow all manufacturer guidelines for lights, ornaments and decorations, the fire department states in a news release.

Candles should also be kept away from those decorations. Christmas and New Year’s are two of the top four days a year for candle fires, the fire department says.

Following these simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy:

• Don’t put your live Christmas tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.

• Place trees away from heat sources, including fireplaces or heat vents. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.

• Keep the live tree stand filled with water at all times.

• Use only nonflammable decorations.

• Don’t link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it’s safe.

• Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.

• Avoid using lit candles; consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.

• Ensure that Christmas trees and other holiday decorations don’t block an exit way.