Christmas Tree Safety

Christmas trees are a big holiday tradition in many homes across America, but picking the wrong one can be dangerous.

"Throughout the us between 2002 and 2005 there were on the average about 210 fires caused from a Christmas tree and out of that there were 24 deaths related to that," said Robert Ford of the Nacogdoches Fire Department.

Officials from the Nacogdoches Fire Department showed us just how quickly a Christmas tree could catch on fire. It only took about 30 seconds for their tree to burn completely, but some trees burn even faster.

"It's going to generate enough heat if you get a spark on it to help dry it out. A tree that's really dry it out. I tree that's really dry would have just went in a big flash," Ford said.

There are several tips you can follow to make sure your Christmas tree is safe:

When buying a tree, check it to see if the needles are falling off. Falling needles means the tree is already dry, and dry trees are fire hazards.

Keep your tree watered: Properly watering Christmas trees keeps them from drying out.

Also, keep your tree away from sources of heat. Space heaters and other hot items can increase the chances of your tree catching on fire.

But what's the biggest Christmas tree safety tip?

"The biggest thing is when you go to bed it at night, don't leave it unattended it. Turn the lights off if you go to leave your house. Make sure you unplug it and don't leave it turned on," Ford said.