Broward County

Water your tree: Miami-Dade, Broward firefighters demonstrate dangers of dry Christmas trees

Geoff Gackle, and his four year old daughter Jordyn, ( front right) and his wife Janeen, and daughter Taylor (left), get an early start on Christmas after the Thanksgiving holiday, buying a tree, at R.T.C. Events, located at SW 106th Ave., and Bird Road, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014.
Geoff Gackle, and his four year old daughter Jordyn, ( front right) and his wife Janeen, and daughter Taylor (left), get an early start on Christmas after the Thanksgiving holiday, buying a tree, at R.T.C. Events, located at SW 106th Ave., and Bird Road, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Miami Herald staff

A proper Christmas tree needs three things: lights, a topper and ... water.

And plenty of it.

In an effort to show just how dangerous an under-watered Christmas tree can be, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue will team up for the third year in a row for a public safety demonstration.

Joined by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, firefighters “will show how easily homemade decorations can ignite” and how a dry tree can become highly flammable, the Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.

The event will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Broward Fire Academy at 2600 SW 71st Ter. in Davie.

The longer trees light up living rooms and children’s faces, the more dangerous the holiday traditions can become, according to police.

“Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January” and “of the 10 days with the largest shares of Christmas tree fires, none were before Christmas,” according to the announcement.

Often these fires turn deadly.

“On average, one of every 40 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total home fires.”

The key to preventing fires is to water the tree daily.

Candles, too, can present a hazard.

“December is the leading month for candle fires, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as two of the top five days for such fires,” the statement reads.

The video below shows the difference between a dry tree (left) and a tree that has been watered regularly.

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