Tree fire danger prompts warning

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(WAND) – Christmas trees come with a fire risk that first responders want people to be wary of.

National statistics show 6.5 million people have seen fires start because of Christmas trees. Causes can come from lights, candles or potentially other decorations.

The Champaign Fire Department is asking the public to be careful when setting up a tree in the house. Firefighters say it’s best to connect no more than three strands of lights together to avoid a fire risk. They say fake candles are much safer decorations.

Firefighters also say trees need to be kept watered in order to avoid dry pines catching fire.

“Unfortunately, once they get dry it’s a very, very fast-burning occurrence,” said Champaign Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Smith. “You can see some of the videos out there and they go up so quickly, so one of the tips I can say is always keep those real trees watered.”

Smith says people should add extra water to the basin of a Christmas tree if they travel during the holiday season.

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