Fire officials offer Christmas tree safety tips for the holidays

While a Christmas tree is a must for many families during the holidays, it can also be a fire hazard that can ignite in just seconds.

In an effort to educate the public about the dangers surrounding live Christmas trees this season, East Lansing Fire officials showed just how quickly a dry tree can go up in flames.

“Within 15-20 seconds the fire was at free burn stage and it was pretty intense,” says East Lansing Fire Capt. Leo Allaire.

Capt. Allaire says Christmas tree fires don’t happen too often, but when they do, they’re likely to be serious.

So he says as you deck the halls this holiday season, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to prevent your Christmas from going up in smoke.

“Water your tree everyday, make sure that you keep your tree at least three feet away from any type of heat source,” says Capt. Allaire.

He says that heat source can be anything from a fireplace, to floor vents, to even a candle.

But the dangers don’t stop there.

“Your lights that you have on the tree, make sure that they’re not overloaded. Make sure there’s no cuts or anything like that where an electrical fire could start the tree on fire,” says Capt. Allaire.

In addition, Capt. Allaire says you’ll want to make sure to turn those lights off before leaving home or going to sleep.

And once the holidays are over, Capt. Allaire encourages people to recycle their tree instead of placing it in the garage or outside the home.

Because after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For more tips on keeping your home safe, click here.

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