LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Christmas trees help bring joy to the holidays but they can also ruin those fun times.
Trees and decorations lead to an average of 200 house fires that cause significant injuries and about six deaths each year.
Everyone likes to look at the decorations, but Cox's Store Fire Chief Jody Dreves said there are several safety precautions that need to be taken when you go to put them up.
"When you're buying a fresh tree, make sure you get a tree that is green so that when you touch it the needles don't fall off. You want to cut the trunk about two inches when you get it and when you stand it make sure you put fresh water in it every day," Dreves said. "As time goes on, those needles are going to dry out and that tree becomes more hazardous."
No Christmas decorations are complete without lights and Dreves said there are precautions you should take whether you're hanging them inside or outside.
"Make sure you get lights that are tested and have a label on them," Dreves said. "Some are for indoor or outdoor use only so make sure you're putting the correct lights on it. Don't overload your outlet."
Dreves said if you're putting lights up outside and having to use a ladder, make sure you have someone outside with you, just in case something happens and you fall. If something does go wrong and you fall or a fire starts, Dreves said you shouldn't hesitate to call 911 before things get out of control.
"A tragedy is never good any time of the year but it's worse around the holidays," Dreves said. "The last thing we want to do is spoil anyone's Christmas. As it gets closer to the holidays, it plays on everyone's emotions and if we have to come out during that time it's hard on everyone. That's the last thing we want to happen is have a tragedy in your home because of something so simple that could have been avoided."