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If you are going to keep your Christmas tree up, make sure it is safe

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 21:42:56-05

PHOENIX — "It's a great holiday, we chop down a tree and then we string it up with a couple of thousand lights, safety needs to be part of this great tradition," says Salt River Project safety specialist Ryan Balzer.

The Christmas tradition of a tree and lights may very well be extended in this pandemic year as the cheer of the holiday season is helping so many of us endure these difficult times. According to Balzer, safety should always be top of mind.

"Electrical fires do happen, hundreds of houses every year during the holidays because of the lights that we do put on our houses," adds Balzer.

Balzer says if you haven't already, now is the time to look at your extension cords, making sure they aren't overcrowded and checking for any lights that may be misfiring, minimizing any possibility for a fire.

As far as outlets, he adds, the 'smart outlets' are a good way to go.

"We have a lot of the smart outlets, smart plugs so these are great things because you can plug in your lights into them and you can have them set to turn on and off at a specific time," says Balzer.

And if you have a live tree, at this point, it may be more dry than green, the recommendation is that you take the tree down and recycle it, and not leave it sitting around in a garage or stored somewhere in the home. Starting now thru January 6 the City of Phoenix is accepting trees and wreaths at 14 of its city parks for recycling. The free recycling program allows for one tree per household.

For more information and safety tips, click here.