Thirsty Christmas Trees Pose Fire Danger

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A Christmas tree may brighten up your holiday in more ways than one if not cared for properly.

That's why the Bryan Fire Department prepared two trees, one that's been properly watered, another that hasn't to illustrate a very important lesson.

"We dried it out purposely, we kept it away from water, we kept it underneath a fan to actually dry it out with some heat," Bryan Fire Chief Mike Donoho said.

Once firefighters lit the parched tree, within a matter of seconds it was fully engulfed in flames.

"It ignites everything in the room extremely quick and it can be very very dangerous," Donoho said. "It's hard to get out of a room like that when it's engulfed in flames."

When the firemen performed the same exercise on a well hydrated tree, it took much longer for the fire to ignite. Once it did, the flames died out much quicker than with the previous tree.

The main difference?

"A Christmas tree that's in a heated room can evaporate the water in the bowl of the tree very quickly, and become extremely flammable so it needs to be placed away from combustibles," Donoho said.

Fire officials say you shouldn't place candles anywhere near the tree or place a tree near any sort of space or electric heater because it can dry the tree out over time.

But those aren't the only fire hazards.

"Malfunctioning Christmas lights- if you get an electrical short in one of your Christmas lights and it sparks you can catch a tree on fire," Donoho said.

The U.S. Fire Administration reports Christmas trees are the cause of more than 200 fires and six deaths each year.

By keeping your tree well nourished Donoho says it decreases the risk of your Christmas going up in smoke.