- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State fire officials are reminding Tennesseans with natural, fresh-cut Christmas trees to keep them in water because of the fire risk posed if they dry out.

Gary West is deputy commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Fire Prevention Division. He says properly maintaining a cut Christmas tree’s moisture content by keeping it in water significantly reduces the chance that its needles will dry out, which can sometimes cause a fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, one of every 40 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death.

In addition to keeping natural trees watered, officials suggest turning off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed, and to get rid of the trees when they begin dropping needles.

For more safety tips, visit: http://www.tn.gov/fire/.

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