The Athens-Clarke County Fire Department is encouraging residents to take steps now to prevent fires this holiday season.
First, they recommend that you water your Christmas tree every day.
Lt. Lawrence Ford told Grady Newsource it’s also a good idea to check your tree before you even buy it.
“Ensuring that it has a sticky bottom and that when you shake it, no leaves fall off. If it has dry leaves on it, we ask that you don’t use it,” Ford said.
Ford also said artificial trees are easier to put up and need less attention.
“Preferably you get the ones with the pre-lit needles on it,” Lt. Ford said.
For holiday lights and decoration, always make sure you check the light strands to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken. Also, keep candles and portable space heaters away from anything that can catch fire.
“At least 3 feet away from any combustible sources,” Lt. Ford said.
The CDC also encourages you to practice sustainability this holiday season. In Athens, trees can be brought to recycling centers from Dec. 25 to Jan. 11.
Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful is hosting an event on Jan. 5 where you can bring in your old tree and receive a free seedling.
Americans throw out 25 percent more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. The CDC wants people to reduce their gift wrap usage and think about giving gifts that generate less waste.
Janie Bohlmann is a senior studying journalism.