With Christmas in just a few weeks retailers are facing a Christmas tree shortage due to a several situations during the 2008 recession. Farmers planted less seedlings, which takes a total of ten years to grow to full size. The other variables include the droughts on the West Coast and the excessive rain in the Midwest.

Safety is important especially during the holidays when you are looking for that special tree. Whether your buying a fresh tree or artificial - San Diego Fire Chief Juan Soliz has some helpful tips to keep in mind when decorating for this holiday season to reduce the potential house fire.

* Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire but please make sure the tree has vibrant green needles and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.

* Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

* Make sure all lights are tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.

* Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.

* Keep all holiday candles away from your Christmas tree.

* Turn off Christmas lights every night when leaving the house or going to sleep.

* Never place trees near any exit or in commercial building in front of a fire exit.

Soliz said that it is easy to forget safety during Christmas, but we should always have that in our minds so that we can have a wonderful Christmas.

With beautiful decorations comes much precaution.