The Christmas holiday is fast approaching and that means many people will be searching for the perfect Christmas tree to bring home. But it’s important to remember that Christmas trees are also a fire hazard. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 10 tree-related home fires each day during the holiday season. So before debating tree height or needle length — and especially after ornaments are in place — here are three safety tips to keep in mind.

Buy It Fresh, Keep It Fresh

Before buying a live tree, run your fingers through the needles to make sure they’re not dry. Also, cut a couple inches off the bottom before leaving the lot. This fresh cut will help the tree absorb water. Even with proper watering, a fresh cut tree only remains fresh for about four weeks, but it’s important to ensure water is in the base/stand at all times.

Selecting Safer Pre-lit Artificial Trees

UL MarkWhile an increasing number of households are choosing artificial trees to decorate their homes, pre-lit artificial trees can also present fire hazards. To address these concerns, UL, a safety science company, developed new safety requirements for pre-lit artificial trees. When you’re buying a pre-lit artificial tree, look for the UL Mark on tree boxes or product description tags in stores and online. When you see the UL Mark, you can rest easier knowing your tree is certified by UL for fire and electrical hazards.

Keep a Safe Distance

All Christmas trees (live or artificial) should always be kept a safe distance from candles, fireplaces, radiators, space heaters and other sources of heat/flame. This prevents the tree from drying out and reduces the likelihood of the heat/flame source — especially a fireplace — from igniting the tree. A safe tree helps create a happy holiday. That’s really what the holidays are about.