RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Winter Weather also means Christmastime, but before you deck the halls, it’s important to know how to avoid disaster.
Christmas trees are a beautiful tradition, but they can be dangerous if you don’t take care of your real trees the right way
“Any tree that’s well taken care of is the perfect tree,” said Art Yagel, owner of Yagel Poor Farm. “We give our customers what I call an MSDS–a material safety data sheet for a cut Christmas tree. It gives families tips and information, but the biggest thing is they don’t let it dry out.”
Yagel says you should start off watering your tree multiple times each day for the first few days and once a day after that. Otherwise, it can be a disaster waiting to happen.
“Once a tree dries out, it’s extremely combustible,” said Beckley firefighter Aaron Halstead. “When you set up the Christmas tree, you should make sure any heat source is at least three feet away from the tree.”
If a tree is too close to a fireplace or heater, it could mean trouble for your family. In just seconds, the dry tree is up in flames, destroying the family room. Meanwhile, the fire on the watered tree moves much slower, giving you and your family enough time to react.
Real trees aren’t the only threat, as any tree with lights could be a danger.
“Electrical malfunctions with the lighting when you wrap your lights around [can cause a fire,]” said Halstead. “You should inspect your lights and the cords and make sure it’s not damaged in any way.”
If your tree is on fire, it’s usually best to call the fire department immediately rather than try to put out the blaze yourself.