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(HealthDay News) — Christmas trees are involved in a few hundred fires annually, says the Texas Department of Insurance. The longer a tree stays up after the holidays, the greater a fire hazard it becomes.

To take down the Christmas tree safely, the department suggests:

  • Discard a tree within one month after purchase.
  • Dispose of needles quickly as the tree drops them.
  • Do not leave the tree in the house or store it in the garage.
  • Take the tree to a tree recycling center, if possible.
  • Never burn a Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove.

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