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Practical fire safety tips for the holidays

Agent Dave Christie of State Farm Insurance Agency and Georgia Arson Control (GAC) urge the citizens of Troup County to keep safety in mind when decorating their homes for the holidays.

According to Christie, “The holiday season can be filled with family, friends and good food, but let’s also keep safety in mind while enjoying this time of year.”

Christie offers the following tips for ensuring a safe holiday:

When purchasing a tree, check the tree for freshness. A dry tree is highly flammable. To test, hold a branch about six inches from the tip and pull your hand toward the tip, allowing the branch to slip through your fingers. If the tree is fresh, very few green needles will come off. Also, lift the tree off the ground and tap the trunk on the ground. Again, very few needles should fall off.

Before placing the tree in a stand designed not to tip over, cut about six inches off the trunk of the tree and soak the base of the tree in a bucket of water overnight.

The tree stand should be designed to hold plenty of water and should be checked daily.

Do not place the tree or natural garland near a fireplace, furnace vents, television or other heat sources.

Buy lights labeled by a recognized testing laboratory and check annually for frayed or damaged cords. On Christmas trees, use small lights that stay cool to the touch or LED lights which also save energy.

For outside decorations, use only outdoor lights. Never use indoor lights outside.