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SAFD demonstrates dangers of Christmas decorations

1 out of 31 Christmas tree fires result in death

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Fire Department is warning the community about the dangers of Christmas trees. On Tuesday, firefighters showed just how quickly decorations can go up in flames.

In the U.S., Christmas trees are the first things to catch fire in an average of 210 reported house fires a year.

One out of every 31 Christmas tree fires resulted in death. And when these fires start, they spread fast.

“A good response for us, is, you know, four or five minutes. Realistically, in our city, it's about seven and a half minutes for a structure fire. “But if we had a fire truck sitting outside of a home fire with a Christmas tree in it, the damage is going to be very significant, no matter what,” said San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood.

One minute and 30 seconds is all it took for a demonstration to fill with flames before firefighters turned the water on it.

Hood said people who have candles or a lighted tree should make sure the candle is extinguished and the lights are off before heading out or going to sleep.