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Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 6:00am

Fire Commissioner's Holiday Safety Tips

With Christmas less than two weeks away, State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is offering tips to Georgians who are decorating their homes for the holidays.

When shopping for a Christmas tree Hudgens says consumers should look for fresh trees and steer clear of dry ones, as they are fire hazards. Hudgens says the needles on dry trees will be brittle and fall off when consumers run their fingers along single branches. Consumers should also avoid places trees near sources of heat.

The commissioner also urges Georgians to buy holiday lights that are labeled by a testing laboratory and to check for frayed or damaged cords. Hudgens says consumers should never use outdoor lights inside, and should unplug all decorative lights before leaving home or going to bed.