HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The most traditional of all Christmas symbols can also prove destructive if special care is not given to it.
Horry County Fire Rescue is encouraging residents to take special care of their Christmas trees this holiday season in an effort to keep structure fires at bay.
According to information on the HCFR's Facebook page, one of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems, while a heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four blazes.
To keep it looking beautiful and safe, the HCFR encourages residents to make sure their Christmas tree is fresh. Shedding needles is a sign that it is dry.
Additionally, homeowners should keep the tree in a stand that holds water and keep it hydrated daily.
Also, artificial trees should be flame-retardant, according to the HCFR.
As for the decorative lights, only buy and use electric lights that are approved by a national testing lab.
Homeowners also need to check each set of lights for broken or cracked bulbs, and bare or frayed wires.
Those who have questions regarding fire safety during the holiday season are encouraged to call their local fire house or (843) 915-5190.