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Removing festive decorations soon after the holidays reduces the risk of fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The international nonprofit agency founded in 1896 has conducted research that shows nearly 40 percent of home fires that were began with Christmas trees started in the month of January. According to the organization, tree fires— while relatively uncommon— tend to be fatal when they do occur. The group recommends those disposing of spent Christmas trees find a recycling program in their local communities. Also, to reduce the risk of fire, never pull the cord of electrical devices that are being unplugged from electrical sockets, because doing so can harm the cord’s wire and insulation, possibly leading to fire or electrical shock.