Tree fire demonstration. (credit: WWJ/Florence Walton)

Tree fire demonstration. (credit: WWJ/Florence Walton)

DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Fire Department fire marshals want local families to enjoy a safe and festive holiday.

They held their annual live Christmas tree education clinic on Thursday.

Fire Marshal Christopher Dixon said if you put up a live tree, you must trim an inch or two off the bottom.

“That will allow the tree to absorb water. Once you do that you have to make sure that you check the water level every day to make sure that the tree is absorbing the water,” Dixon said. “A way that you can test that the tree is absorbing the water is to cut on of the braches off and the branch should bend and not snap.”

Dixon demonstrated just how quickly a beautifully decorated tree could go up in flames (photo above).

Dixon said space heaters and lit candles should be kept at least three feet away from the tree.

“We want to make sure that every home has a smoke detector installed. That smoke detector will go off within seconds of the fire occuring,” he said. “And we must have a home fire safety evacuation plan.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 21 deaths result from Christmas tree fires each holiday season nationwide.

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