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Montana firefighters share fire safety tips this holiday season

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Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-19 12:55:35-05

Decorating is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate with your family and friends, but it does present some fire risks.

Chelsie Stevens works at Cashman Nursery on Main Street in Bozeman.

Driving by you can see that there are not many trees left — but not for long.

“Tomorrow there’ll be a whole new bunch of trees in this lot,” said Stevens.

Stevens said there’s nothing like the tradition of picking out your perfect tree, but there are some precautions you should take.

Pick out a healthy tree and keep it that way.

“What you want to look for are healthy needles and make sure you always have water in the stand,” said Stevens.

But fire safety during the holidays doesn’t end with Christmas trees.

Hyalite Fire Training Officer Mac Malone says as you deck the halls this Christmas you should be fire smart.

Hyalite responds to more structure fires in the winter months as opposed to summer.

“Around this time of year with all the holiday stuff, we see a lot of matches that aren’t put away correctly in the trash,” said Malone. “Or candles that are next to a tree or something else that can catch on fire. You should make sure your ornaments are flame resistant.”

Malone also recommends:

  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before going to bed
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and things that can burn
  • Replace any string of lights that is broken
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so cords do not get damaged
  • And make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source

Stevens said she agrees.

“I would not put my tree next to a heater vent or a fireplace,” she said.

Even though you should be cautious with your décor this season, that shouldn’t take away the joy of seeing your Christmas tree all decked out.

“Here at Cashman it’s all local, healthy, Montana trees,” said Stevens.