With a large number of Seacoast families welcoming trees into their homes this holiday season, the Portsmouth Fire Department shared a list of tips for tree safety and fire prevention.

In a post to their Facebook page, Portsmouth fire said any small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow in size quickly.

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In terms of picking the right tree, Portsmouth fire suggests one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when you touch them. This means the tree is relatively satiated and not too dry.

While placing the tree in your home, Portsmouth fire recommends cutting a 2 inch hole from the base of the trunk first. You should also be aware of any heat sources near the tree that could be a potential fire hazard as well as make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

The tree should be watered each day to maintain its life and prevent it from drying out.

As far as lighting the tree, the safest lights are those with a label for a recognized testing laboratory, per Portsmouth fire, adding that some lights are for outdoor use only and could be dangerous if used indoors on a live tree.

Portsmouth fire also urges people to avoid lighting candles near a tree and to check for loose bulbs on any lights strung around it. Any lights should be turned off overnight as well.

Still, Portsmouth fire said the danger is not over once Christmas ends. Dried out trees stored in the home or garage still pose a serious fire threat and should be disposed of using a recycling program.

More than one out of every four Christmas tree fires is caused by an electrical issue, according to Portsmouth fire, and another one in every four such fires is caused by a heat source being too close to the tree.

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