(NBC News) Dry winter air, holiday candles and dried out Christmas trees make the holiday season especially risky.
The American Red Cross says nearly 47,000 fires happen during the holiday season, killing more than 500 people.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning that trees can become engulfed in flames in just seconds.
Christmas trees will not burn as quickly if they’re well watered.
“Water it every day until you drag it to the curb,” advises acting CPSC Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle.
They’re also reminding Americans that all open flames, including the candles on a menorah, are risky if they’re placed near something flammable, like curtains.
Safety experts stress the importance of working smoke detectors.
“Working smoke alarms cut your risk of dying in a home fire at last in half,” notes Dr. Walter Copan of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.