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How to Safely Put Up a Real, Live Christmas Tree

How to Safely Put Up a Real, Live Christmas
Tree. Make sure this year’s live holiday tree
is not only pretty, but safe, too. You will need A fresh tree A tree stand Water
A ceiling hook A piece of wire Tree lights Blue masking tape LED tree lights and heavy-gauge
extension cord. Step 1. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that
don’t easily fall off when you shake the trunk or run your fingers over a branch. The drier the tree, the bigger the fire hazard. Needles should bend but not break, and the
trunk should feel sticky with sap. Step 2. Ask the tree vendor to cut two or three inches
off the bottom so your tree will better absorb water from its stand. Step 3. Choose a spot for the tree at least three
feet from a radiator, fireplace, heating vent, or other heat source, and don’t block any
exits with it. Never light candles near the tree. Step 4. Put the tree into a tree stand filled with
fresh water as soon as you bring it home, and keep it watered. Don’t skimp on the tree stand: Use a sturdy
one that will keep your tree straight. Step 5. With a piece of wire, attach the top of the
tree to a hook in the ceiling so it can’t tip over. Step 6. Use tree lights made for indoor use. Check for damaged sockets, missing bulbs,
and frayed wires before hanging them on the tree. Consider upgrading to LED lights, available
where other tree lights are sold. You’ll spend a bit more, but they’re safer
because they don’t generate heat. Step 7. Tape down any loose cords so people don’t
trip over them. Use blue masking tape to prevent paint damage. Never run cords under rugs (it’s a fire hazard),
and don’t attach more than three light strands to an extension cord. Use heavy-gauge extension cords; they stay
cool and don’t fray easily. Step 8. If you have young children or pets, keep breakable
ornaments out of their reach. Step 9. When the tree starts losing needles, take
it to a recycling center. Dried-out trees account for hundreds of fires
each year during the holidays. Did you know Benjamin Harrison was the first
president to display an official White House Christmas tree.

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