Holiday fire dangers: How to prevent Christmas tree fires and enjoy New Year's Eve fireworks safely

The Phoenix Fire Department is showing just how dangerous it can be to keep a live Christmas tree at home after the holiday, as it poses a significant fire risk for families.

It just takes seconds for a dried out tree to become engulfed in flames.

"It can be unsafe lights, it can be candles," said Captain Kenny Overton with Phoenix Fire. "There’s a lot of ignition sources."

After taking the tree out of the home, officials say one should never leave it outside near the house, as it still can be dangerous.

"With live Christmas trees, it’s good to get them out of the home and into an approved disposal site right after the holidays," Overton said. "These things dry out and the essentially become fuel that can start a house fire, and we’ve actually seen that this year."

The fire department is also warning about firework safety coming up. A good rule of thumb: if it goes up in the air, it's illegal.

Fire crews demonstrated the dangers of illegal fireworks.

"Definitely can lose a hand or some fingers," said Sergeant Jason Jahnke with Phoenix Police.

For the legal, safe fireworks, it's a good idea to keep a bucket of water nearby and leave the lighting to the adults.

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