It's the most wonderful time of the year, and sometimes the most - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and sometimes the most dangerous

TOLEDO, OH (AP) -

The most wonderful time of the year can sometimes be one of the most dangerous times of the year if you're not careful.

It can less than a minute for flames to fully engulf a Christmas tree.  Which is a crucial reminder of just how quickly flames can move.

"It is a real danger and we want all of our citizens to enjoy the holidays and make sure they're safe but just adhere to some of these precautions," said TFD Pvt. Sterling Rahe. 

To keep your tree safe from a fire, make sure to pick a fresh one. 

"If you go into a box store and you pick one out and it's been cut down just make sure it's fresh, it's not brown, needles aren't falling off of it. That's the biggest thing," Rahe advises.

For those with real trees, make sure the tree gets watered everyday to keep it fresh. But homes with a fake tree should take some precautions too.

"Don't put an overabundance of lights on there. Make sure to follow manufacturer's recommendations. Some of them come pre-lighted. You just have to be careful. You don't want to draw too much electricity to cause a fire that way," added Rahe.

Where a tree is located can also make a difference. Avoid putting the tree, real or fake, anywhere near a space heater. Make sure the tree has at least a 3-foot buffer around anything that would case a fire. 

But it's not just the tree that is hazardous. The lights have to be dealt with with care too.

"Make sure you inspect them, that the cords aren't twisted or broken. Or frayed. There's not exposed wires. When we're taking them down we only look at them once a year," said Rahe.

Lights should be plugged into wall outlets, instead of an overabundance of plugs in an extension cord. And as far as exterior lights, it is best to not pull a Clark Griswold and stapling the lights to the roof.

"Obviously we've seen that in the movies, however there are commercial devices out there that can help you hang those in a safe fashion," Rahe said.

Avoid hanging lights in gutters and make sure you're not using indoor lights outside.  

"We want to see out on the streets but we don't want to see you on a fire run so you can help us out with that and again, follow these safety tips. 

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