Terrifying footage has been shared of how quickly a Christmas tree can go up in flames if it is not watered.
A video shared on Twitter by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission shows a simulated electrical fire starting in a dry Christmas tree, which engulfs the room in as little as 40 seconds – serving as a warning to those decorating their homes this year.
“Many people have real Christmas trees in their homes for the first time ever this holiday season,” the commission said.
“Make sure your keep your tree well watered. A dry Christmas tree burns faster than newspaper.”
The video shows two simulations of the same living room side-by-side – one with a well-watered tree, and the other a dry tree.
As the watered tree begins to set alight, flames climb up the branches and wisps of grey smoke reach the ceiling.
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After about 30 seconds, the blaze is still going but it does not reach elsewhere in the room and slowly dies down.
Meanwhile, the dry tree begins to burn – and the outcome is horrifying.
Within 10 seconds, the entire tree is on engulfed in flames reaching the ceiling and producing a thick plume of dark smoke.
A painting on the wall begins to melt at around 25 seconds in, before a nearby sofa is also caught in the blaze.
After 40 seconds, firefighters rush in to put out the flames.
Christmas trees should be watered daily and you can check how much water your tree needs depending on its size.
According to UK Fire Resources, you should not place your tree close to a heat source such as a fireplace or radiator. This could dry it out, causing it to be more flammable.
You should also be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree, and should keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Preferably you should not put live Christmas trees up too early or leave them up longer than two weeks.