Fire officials urge people buying Christmas trees to take extra precautions given dry conditions

- Fire officials are urging people buying real Christmas trees this holiday season to be especially cautious given the severe dry conditions in Georgia.

“The trees, the leaves, a lot of the vegetative plants and so forth, all those are not as fresh and as vibrant as they could be because of the drought conditions,” said Captain Eric Jackson with DeKalb County Fire Rescue.

Captain Jackson said cut trees are already dryer and with dry conditions some trees are even more susceptible to a fire, which could potentially make for a dangerous situation.

Fire officials stress to keep the tree at least three feet away from any heating source and to stay away from certain lighting.

“You do not want to use the older traditional bulb type lighting because those tend to generate a lot more heat versus the newer led lighting,” said Captain Jackson.

At Pike Nurseries in DeKalb County, store manger Kara Ziegler said sales have not been affected by the drought.

“We are making sure we are taking extra precautions and making sure we get nice fresh cuts on our trees,” said manager, Kara Ziegler.  “We keep them stood in water.”

Pike Nurseries will have tens of thousands of trees delivered throughout the holiday season.

“You want it to be really green and vibrant and then when you touch the tree you want to make sure the needles are not falling off and that it is really pliable and not dry and bridle,” said Ziegler.

Adding to that list of how to spot a healthy tree, fire officials said once it’s decorated, do not to overload the socket.

“Utilize a surge protector so that you do not overload the socket because if you overload the socket that can cause just enough spark on an already dry tree,  that can cause some problems,” said Captain Jackson. 

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