Christmas tree lighting safety tips - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Christmas tree lighting safety tips

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It's the season for lights, but as with everything, too much can be a bad thing.


Year after year- firefighters issue the same warning: If you prefer real over artificial Christmas trees, don't let them dry out. And year after year, houses and other buildings catch fire.


"We recommend you go with an artificial tree," said HFD Captain Roy Lozano, "but we also want you to look at the tag and make sure its fire retardant."


If you're reusing last year's pre-lit artificial tree or lights, check the wires. copper shouldn't be exposed. If it's time to replace those lights, don't skimp.


"Make sure they're underwriter laboratory certified," Lozano said.


Just last month, federal agents in Alaska seized a shipment of holiday lights from China. According to reports, the lights carried a fake "UL" safety inspection mark, which means they hadn't been tested to see if they could hold up without overheating.

Another tip?

Make sure your tree stand is strong enough to hold your tree.

Otherwise, you may be yelling 'timber' in your home.

And if you're a pet owner- take the tinsel seriously.


"A friend of mine actually had a cat who was playing with the tinsel and you'll notice lots of cats see the ornaments and want to swing them," said Meera Nandlal, with the Houston SPCA. "My friends cat actually did that. The surgery cost him between 15 hundred and 2 thousand dollars."


If eaten, poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, and even the actual pine needles off your tree can also hurt your pet, as can the water you must use in order to keep that tree from drying out.


"If they chew on those cords they can get badly burned or electrocuted," Nandlal said. which is something we're really not thinking about."


"When it's time to water, unplug the tree temporarily, just for safety sake," Lozano said.


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