How to avoid fire hazard with your Christmas tree

Local News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Fire Department is warning about hazards of owning a natural Christmas tree.

It took about one minute for a fresh natural Christmas tree to burn down completely.

El Paso Fire Department tested how quickly a natural tree would burn. The provided tree was still fresh and took some time to catch fire, but once it did, it went up in flames in just about a minute.

Ruben Candelaria, battalion chief at EPFD, explained that dried up trees burn down in just a few seconds and much more easily catch on fire.

This is why he suggested watering your tree daily and cutting off at least two inches from the bottom of the tree to make sure it is absorbing water properly.

“When we start adding decorations, we are adding plastics and once plastics burn they release toxic fumes that you inhale and can incapacitate you,” said chief Candelaria.

Along with proper hydration, your tree needs to be at least three feet away from any heat sources according to chief Candelaria.

He advised making sure you have no exposed wiring from your lights and that you don’t attach too many light strings together, but follow the instructions provided on the box.

Despite the joys of having a natural Christmas tree, chief Candelaria suggested getting an artificial one that is less likely to catch fire and is reusable.

“I know a lot of people always [say], oh, the smell reminds me of traditions from when we were younger. I’m here  to tell you they sell sprays now. My wife just bought a whole bunch of them and we get that nice pine smell. It’s just a safer option,” he explained.

If your tree ends up catching fire, exit your home and call 911 imediately.

Chief Candelaria warns not to try and extinguish the fire yourself as it burns too quickly.

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.