San Bernardino, CA, December 9, 2011, noon – With the increase in fire risk presented by Christmas trees, the San Bernardino County Fire Department offers these holiday safety tips: make sure electric holiday lights are intact and that cords are not frayed; artificial trees should be made of fireproof materials; natural trees should have a fresh, one-inch cut at the base to eliminate sap and allow the tree to absorb water; it is important to water natural trees daily as they can absorb up to a gallon of water each day; mini-lights on a tree produce less heat, but all lights should be turned off when you leave the house or go to bed; and do not overload electrical circuits. Christmas trees should be placed away from heat sources, and these include heating vents, televisions, sunny windows and fireplaces. If you rearrange the furniture to accommodate your holiday tree, be sure that it’s not positioned too close to heat sources. And, finally, never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove, as it will burn too fast and could be explosive.

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