Sioux Falls Fire Marshall Dean Lanier says holiday safety begins with a fresh tree!

In Dean's words, "Most important is the tree's condition when you buy it.  Check the tree itself to make sure too many thorns don't fall off.  Make sure you water the tree the  entire time it's going to be in your home."

Aside from a fresh tree, Dean urges residents to check out the indoor and outdoor lights for faulty cords and connections.

While in the kitchen doing your holiday cooking, Dean says play it safe by keeping a extinguisher close by.  Just as important: keep children away from the stove!