Christmas tree safety: Getting precautions in place for your home

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The day after Thanksgiving is when Christmas tends to move in. Many people in Hampton Roads are picking out the perfect tree and setting it up in their homes.

Hunt Club Farm is a popular destination for many locals, and they had a busy first day Friday.

"As soon as Thanksgiving is over, it is Christmas time. We've been very steady all day long, constantly restocking Christmas trees," said Randi Vogel.

Hunt Club Farm sells Fraser firs from Whitetop, Virginia, ranging in sizes from a 3-foot tabletop tree to those taller than 12 feet.

Trees at Hunt Club Farm (Photo: News 3's Kim Cung)

But whether you get a real tree or an artificial one, there are three things you can do to keep your home and those in and around it safe this holiday season.

"All of them are dangerous," said April Elmore, who sells Fraser fir trees to fundraise for the Fire Department Honor Guard at the intersection of Lynnhaven Pkwy and Independence Pkwy.

Elmore said to be cautious of how many strings of lights you're putting together and to make sure to use a surge protector.

Related: Are your holiday lights safe? 

"Just because you have outlets doesn't mean you can keep overloading. That's an indication you might have a problem, and we don't want anyone's house to burn down," said Elmore.

For those who are buying real trees, Vogel stressed the importance of making sure it's properly watered, especially when you first bring it home.

"Wherever you buy your tree, give the bottom a fresh cut. Otherwise, your tree will not absorb water," said Vogel. "Pine trees are extremely flammable! As long as you have a watered tree [and] it's not sitting right in front of the window in the sun or a heat vent, your tree will be fine for the whole season."

Of course, every home should have a working smoke detector. If you have a two-story home, make sure there is at least one per floor.

Finally, turn off the lights before going to bed or leaving your home. The Christmas lights shouldn't be on when unattended.