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It's true that live trees give off a sweet, inviting scent. There's something special about capturing nature and stuffing it into your living room. Unfortunately, live trees can also create allergy symptoms, sticky hands and messy needles all over the floor. You could also be subjecting your family to an increased risk of fire and injury with a live Christmas tree. If your Christmas tree lights are from yesteryear, are worn in any way (think frayed wires) or get particularly hot, you could be setting yourself up for disaster.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Christmas trees account for 200 fires annually, causing death, injury and property damage. Fires are typically caused by shorts in electrical lights or from the flames of nearby candles.
There are a few things you can do, however, to minimize the fire risk: Make sure your live tree is very well watered or buy an artificial tree. These days, artificial trees are nothing to scoff at. Sure tradition is nice, but so isn't keeping your family safe. Artificial trees come in all shapes and sizes, and even come pre-lit. You can even buy pre-lit artificial garland or wreaths to complement the tree.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|