MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Many people love natural Christmas trees and decorating them.
However, natural trees tend to dry out and can cause a fire hazard. As a result, fire officials said it's important to follow several important safety rules.
Marietta Fire Department Chief C.W. Durham said it's important to make sure you maintain water in the stand. If the needles fall off when you touch them, that means the tree is too dry. Also, he said you should keep trees at least three feet away from a heat source.
"Make sure they are not able to be knocked over by a pet or child in the house," Durham said. "Make sure to turn them off when you go to bed or when you leave the home so that there's less of a risk of anything happening."
Durham said you should also remember to have a working smoke detector. He said any Marietta resident who needs a detector can pick one up for free and that if you need help installing it, the department can help with that as well.
In addition, Durham said leaving a dried out tree in your house, near your house or in a garage is also a fire hazard. He recommends disposing of the tree as quickly as possible at the end of the holiday season.