When finding and decorating a Christmas tree there’s a lot that needs to be considered, and Grand Forks Fire & Rescue is here to help! Firstly it’s important to choose a tree that’s as fresh and green as possible.

Deputy Fire Chief Richard Piche says tree fires have become more scarce, but a dry tree is still a fire hazard. “People are not using candles anymore and with modern LED technology it’s low voltage, low heat, so we’re seeing less and less but the ones I have heard of that haven’t happened in Grand Forks, they can get out of control real fast.”

Before placing your tree in a stand, cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk, then add water daily.

Piche says to avoid blocking exits or placing your tree near heat sources. “Other than that you can place it wherever you want, obviously you’re going to put some lights on it more than likely, so you want to make sure that you have an outlet somewhere nearby so you’re not causing a tripping problem with an extension chord or things like that.”

One in three home Christmas tree fires are due to electrical problems, and one in four are caused by heat sources being too nearby. You should always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. Also, be cautious that some lights are only for indoor and outdoor use, and bring outdoor lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and extend their life.