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First responders demonstrate the life-threatening dangers of poor Christmas tree care

3 years 9 months 1 week ago Wednesday, December 19 2018 Dec 19, 2018 December 19, 2018 6:59 PM December 19, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Christmas trees are used to celebrate and highlight the most cheerful holiday of the year. But without proper care, they can turn into serious hazards.

“Last year in the state. firefighters reported to 25 fires in homes involving a Christmas tree. Some of those fires were quickly extinguished, others caused significant damaged to homes,” State Fire Marshal head Butch Browning.

To prevent these incidents, firefighters performed a demonstration on dehydrated trees. 

“It burns within seconds. It immediately catches anything combustible around on fire... The chairs, curtains, the toys, any decoration on the tree,” Browning said.

It's an all-too-common occurrence that can destroy your home and end your life.

“You only have about two minutes to 60 seconds to escape your home before the fumes and the gases inside the home start affecting you,” Stephanie Wagner said.

American Red Cross Regional Director Stephanie Wagner says a smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death. 

“If you do have working smoke alarms in your home, you are increasing your chances of surviving a fire by 50 percent,” Wagner said.

Most of the fires start with open flames or nearby heaters. Heaters operating daily can absorb water out of trees making them dry and vulnerable to fires.

“You need to check your water every day and make sure there is water in that tree,” Browning said.

Fire officials stress that you keep the tree unplugged when you are not present and keep it at least three feet away from any open flames.

For more information on how to be safe for the holidays click here.

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