Fire officials warn residents to avoid dry Christmas trees

SALT LAKE CITY — With Christmas drawing closer, the Salt Lake City Fire Department and Red Cross are warning residents of the dangers of dry Christmas trees.

Officials say such trees have a high fire risk and can engulf a room in a matter of minutes.

Captain Shaun Mumedy, of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, says if your tree catches fire, you aren’t going to be able to put the blaze out on your own.

“Your little home extinguisher that you might keep on hand for a kitchen fire is not going to be capable of putting this out,” he said.

Avoid dry Christmas trees

Officials say it’s best to water your tree every day. They say one of the best indicators of a dry tree is when needles break when they are bent. Another indicator of a dry tree is a build-up of dead needles around the base of the tree.

Additionally, officials also say that it’s important to keep a 3-foot radius around your tree from other potential fire hazards. Officials also say to turn off your lights when leaving the house.

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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