Christmas tree safety: Read this to keep your holidays from going up in flames

Published: Dec. 1, 2019 at 4:08 PM EST
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While the halls are decked and the cocoa is hot, the holiday season can bring more than cheer.

Prestonsburg Fire Department Chief Michael Brown told WYMT a few important tips to remember as you decorate for the happiest time of the year.

"If you have a fireplace that you burn wood in, you want to make sure you burn seasoned dry wood," said Brown.

As you warm up by the fire, many families are choosing their Christmas tree.

"The biggest thing that we've seen is live trees. A lot of people love the live trees," Brown pointed out.

The average Christmas tree can use as much as one gallon of water per day.

"The pine needles will start falling off which means the tree is drying out, the lights produce heat that's on the trees. It will cause the tree to actually catch on fire," explained Brown.

Studies show a Christmas tree can catch fire and spread within three to five seconds.

"It will put off an amount of heat that will eventually consume the room then you have a good building structure fire," said Brown.

Brown said he would also like to remind everyone, live or artificial, keep an open flame at least three feet away from your tree.

One household staple to keep year-round is an up-to-date smoke detector.

"Out of five house fires that are fatalities, three of those do not have working smoke detectors," Brown pointed out. "If something happens through the night, you have nothing to alarm you."

A rule of thumb to keep in mind is to change your smoke detector batteries as you set your clocks with the time change.