Firefighters warn: "Water those trees!"

Posted by Christi Reynard email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Christmas trees account for 200 fires every year, so Cincinnati firefighters want to make sure people in the tri-state enjoy their trees safely.

The number one piece of advice: "Keep the tree watered."

Typically shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires.  Well-watered trees are not a problem.  Dry and neglected trees can be.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology says dry trees can go up in flames fast.

Within three seconds of ignition, the dry Scotch pine is completely ablaze.

At five seconds, the fire extends up the tree and black smoke with searing gases streaks across the ceiling.

Fresh air near the floor feeds the fire, and flames can then move on to nearby furniture.

Within 40 seconds "flashover" occurs - that's when an entire room erupts into flames, oxygen is depleted and dense, deadly toxic smoke fills the home.

Copyright 2009 WXIX-TV and Raycom Media.  All Rights Reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.