'Tis the season for Christmas tree fires - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'Tis the season for Christmas tree fires

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With the holiday season in full swing, there aren't many who haven't put up their tree yet.

While they look beautiful (especially with those presents under the tree), they can be fairly dangerous if not properly cared for.

Denny Green, chief of the Cascade Fire Department, says it's important to water your tree every day.  If you don't, his department shared a video that shows the devastating effects a fire can have on a dry tree.

"As you see in that video how fast it can spread, and that's something we definitely don't want to respond to anytime of year," Green said.

Another video from the Institute of Standards and Technology shows a watered and un-watered tree side by side, the watered tree barely scorched after 90 seconds, while the dry tree is completely gone.

Those videos an eye opener for Gina Pint, who has a natural tree in her home this year.

She says if it were to go up in flames, she would lose more than just her home, she would lose her dancewear business.

"On top of my normal job, I'm probably working another 20-30 hours a week sewing, so if I lost all my fabrics and machines and stuff like that, I wouldn't have a business," she said.

Green says there are some other steps, besides watering, that you can take to prevent your holidays from turning into a disaster.

"Make sure you're using good lights, following manufacturer's instructions as far as the number of strands of lights you plug together. LED lights don't produce near the heat of the other lights, so they'd be a better choice," he said.

The U.S. Fire Administration says December is also the peak season for candle fires, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve and New Year's Day being the four worst days.

Green recommends switching to electric candles to keep safe.

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