Safety tips for avoiding a Christmas tree fire

The Houston Fire Department demonstrated the fire risk a Christmas tree can pose. ( Houston Fire Department )

The Houston Fire Department took the time today to demonstrate the importance of Christmas tree safety.

Last year, the department responded to 80 house and apartment fires linked to trees, Christmas lights and candles placed too close to flammable items.

Thirty-six of those fires were apartment fires, in total costing residents $3 million in property damage.

To avoid a tree fire, firefighters recommend to unplug your tree every night and water your Christmas tree daily.

When putting on lights, make sure the wires are intact and that you are using extension cords, not plugging them into each other.

The department also recommends finding a safe location for your tree. Place it in a strategic space away from exits.

Put an exit plan together with your family in the case of a fire.

The Houston Fire Department is supplying free smoke alarms to low-income families. Learn more at http://www.houstontx.gov/fire/community/getalarmed.html.