- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Gwinnett County officials are offering fire safety tips to people looking to decorate their homes for the holidays.

Fire department spokesman Tommy Rutledge says Christmas trees can pose safety hazards if they’re not cared for properly. Rutledge says homeowners should choose a fresh tree and check for large amounts of dry or loose pine needles before taking their tree home.

Rutledge says homeowners should make sure their tree stands are filled with water and that the tree isn’t close to a fireplace or other heating sources.

Rutledge says homeowners should also inspect lights for frayed wires and avoid leaving them on while unattended. Rutledge also encourages the use of non-flammable holiday decorations and says anyone who’s decorating should never link more than three stands of tree lights to each other.

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