By Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office is recommending people to be careful when buying Christmas trees, whether they buy a real or artificial tree.

Fire Marshal Jim Greeson says people buying real trees should choose the freshest one possible with green needles that do not fall off when touched. If buying an artificial tree, be sure it is identified as fire retardant.

He also recommends trees be kept at least three feet away from any heat source and that they not block exits.

He says all lights and ornaments should be inspected when decorating a tree. Replace any string of lights that have worn, in addition to broken cords and broken bulbs.

He also recommends periodically checking the wires to make sure they are not warm to the touch.

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