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Firefighters stress safety tips for Christmas trees, winter heating

Christmas trees can go up in flames in a matter of seconds, Oklahoma City firefighters said. They recommend making sure live trees have plenty of water.
by Robert Medley Published: December 10, 2012

/articleid/3736232/1/pictures/1904179">Photo - An unwatered real tree burns faster than a regularly watered one in a demonstration by Oklahoma City firefighters in 2008. THE OKLAHOMAN Archives
An unwatered real tree burns faster than a regularly watered one in a demonstration by Oklahoma City firefighters in 2008. THE OKLAHOMAN Archives

The same common sense rules go for artificial trees, Stanaland said. Keep them away from any source of heat.

Cold weather fires

It is a good time of year to check smoke alarms and batteries to make sure alarms work properly, Stanaland said.

As weather turns colder, a number of heating-related fires are reported each year.

A fire damaged a house in Oklahoma City in late November because a space heater was too close to combustibles, Stanaland said. No injuries were reported.

Natural gas-burning heaters and furnaces should be checked to make sure they don't pose carbon monoxide dangers.

Fireplace logs can roll out onto the carpet if not held in with proper grates and screens. Also, chimney fires are common in winter, Stanaland said. Creosote builds up in the chimney and can catch fire.

And, one last tip, don't burn Christmas wrapping paper in the fireplace, he said.

by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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