Experts share safety tips for choosing Christmas tree

It's that time of the year again when people throughout southwestern Connecticut and across the U.S. are rushing to the stores to pick up a Christmas tree, but vendors say besides considering the tree's appearance and height, shoppers must not forget about safety.

The U.S. Fire Administration says every year, 250 fires are caused by dry Christmas trees, resulting in 14 deaths, 26 injuries and more than $13.8 million in property damage.

Experts say a fresh tree should be green, its needles should be hard to pull from the branches, and its trunk should be sticky with resin.

Westfield Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson says once the tree is brought into the house, about an inch must be cut off its stump to make sure that all the sap channels are open, and the tree must be watered daily.

Some other safety tips include positioning the tree away from heat vents and not putting more than three strands of lights connected to one another. Also, residents are urged to always use a surge protector.

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