OLD BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Firefighters are warning residents in Nassau County that improperly maintained live Christmas trees could go up in flames and destroy your house.
On Thursday at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum, firefighters demonstrated a fire caused by a live Christmas tree that was not properly hydrated.
"Every year we get one or two in Nassau County; it's inevitable," Fire Chief John Brown said. "People go away, they forget about it, and they just don't keep the water in it and this is what happens. And the lights aren't maintained, they're not UL approved, they're all rolled up, put away, taken out again, and there's cracks, dried out from the wiring, so that's the problems that we have."
During the demonstration, it only took about 90 seconds for the room to be engulfed in flames.
The smoke detector went off after 60 seconds.
"It's very important to have smoke smoke detectors, an escape route, and very important to take care of these trees," Brown said. "It's the holiday season and you don't want to ruin it."
Live trees need to be watered regularly, and be certain the tree stand is big enough to both hold the water and support the tree.
Also, never use lit candles near or on a tree, and make sure you have proper smoke detectors installed, WLNY TV 10/55's Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported.
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