Tips to prevent Christmas tree fires

December 11, 2012 12:30:55 AM PST
The holiday season is a busy time of year for firefighters around the Valley. They say there's a spike in house fires this time of the year, and a number of those fires are started by Christmas trees.

Video provided by the U.S. Fire Administration shows just how quickly a dried up Christmas tree goes up in flames.

Notice in about 30 seconds, the difference between the well watered tree compared to the dry one. About a minute later, there's not much of it left.

Koby Johns with the Fresno Fire Department said, "The biggest thing you can do to protect your house from a fire with a Christmas tree is to keep it watered. These trees they suck up water really fast."

Fire fighters say about 240 house fires every year are caused nationwide by Christmas tree fires. And about 150 house fires are started by holiday lights and decorations.

"People put too many electrical wires together or they piggy back too many of the Christmas lights."

When you avoid overloading those circuits, you reduce your chances of any flames. And make sure all your smoke detectors are working.

"The biggest thing you can have as a family is an escape plan know all the ways out of your house, and how to get out quickly."

Fire officials say taking a few precautions goes a long way this holiday season.