CHICAGO — The Chicago Fire Department (CFD) held its annual event to demonstrate the danger of under-watered Christmas trees when near space heaters.

CFD Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt along with representatives from the Illinois Fire Marshal’s office and Home Depot took part in the demonstration and discussed best practices to avoid what could become a deadly event.

The tips provided include:

  • When picking a tree, chose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk to ensure it will absorb the water it needs
  • The tree should be at least three feet away from any heat source
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit
  • Add water daily – it is not unusual for a tree to soak up nearly two gallons of water on its first day in the stand
  • When lighting the tree, never use lit candles
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections
  • Always turn-off lights before leaving the home or going to bed
  • Dispose of the tree promptly after the holidays
  • Ensure your home has working smoke detectors

See the entire demonstration, including the warnings by officials, in the video above.