Artificial trees just as hazardous

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013 -- 6:35pm

Elizabeth Bestor and her family chose an artificial tree this year. They figured it'd be easier to deal with: no need to water, no dealing with needles falling out, not as many hazards as real tree..or so they thought.

"I was in my daughter's room and I smelled burning plastic and couldn't figure out where it was coming from” says Bestor.

The source of the smell was her family's artificial Christmas tree.

“Everything was literally melting down into the carpet” she tells NBC 15.

The fire, this past Wednesday, ruined the bottom half of the tree, the tree skirt, a portion of carpet, and sadly about five gifts that we underneath for their 2-year-old daughter.

"If we didn't find it when we did right away, we would have lost everything. It's terrifying. I don't want anyone else to have to go through something like that” says Bestor.

To prevent this from happening yo your artificial tree, follow these tips from the American Christmas Tree Association:

1. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
2. Bedtime means lights off, so make sure you turn off your lights before hitting the hay.
3. Electrical malfunctions can also ignite artificial trees, so just like a real tree, keep it several feet away from any heat source.
4. Keep everything in moderation. The more decorations on the tree, the higher chance of it being flammable.

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