A SHOCKING video from fire experts shows how an unwatered Christmas tree can engulf a room in just 23 seconds.
Real fir trees in the home can easily set alight by accident by faulty decorations or candles which are placed too close.
The footage comes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from the US, but it highlights the dangers of putting up a real Christmas tree in homes worldwide.
Within five seconds of the dry tree catching fire, the flames engulf the entire tree before hitting the ceiling.
Just 17 seconds later, the fire rips through the presents under the tree and by 23 seconds the couch has also been set up in a blaze.
By the end of the clip, fire fighters begin to approach the roaring the flames with hoses before working on putting it out.
Last year, there were 248 deaths caused by a fire at home in the UK, according to latest figures from the government’s Fire Kills campaign, many of which could have been prevented.
Last month the CPSC said: “From 2014 to 2016, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires that resulted in 10 deaths, 150 injuries, and nearly $50million (£38.4million) in property damage each of those years.”
How to make sure your tree isn’t a fire hazard
HOW to make sure your Christmas tree isn’t a fire hazard
When buying a tree
When you select a tree you need to look out for a number of signs to make sure it is fresh.
Needles on the tree should be green and hard to pull from branches and the trunk should be sticky to touch.
If needles fall off then the tree may have been cut for too long and may be a fire hazard.
How to care for a Christmas tree
Do not put it near a heat source, such as an air vent or fireplace, as this will dry out the free quicker.
Be careful is smoking inside near the tree.
Do not drop or flick cigarette ash near the tree.
Do not put your tree up too early or leave it up too long. Keep the stand filled with water at all times.
The safety expert added: “Make sure your live Christmas tree stays well-watered throughout the holiday season.
“If you’re buying an artificial tree, look for the “Fire Resistant” label.
“Put lit candles where you can easily see them and away from flammable items like curtains. Blow candles out before leaving a room.”
Earlier this month, we reported how a young mum died after dropping a lit cigarette by a Christmas tree which set fire to her house.
In 2017, an American fire department set up to two trees – one dry and one watered – in a replica living room, before igniting each.
It revealed how within just eight seconds the dry tree has caught fire, while the watered one just smouldered after 39 seconds.
The UK fire service warns that a burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.
It advises the best way to extinguish a tree is with a water mist extinguisher.
These cost from about £45 online via websites like Budget-Fire or Safelincs.