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Fire safety during the holiday season

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(PIX11)--Every year more than 60,000 fires are started by home heaters and dried out Christmas trees according to fire safety agencies. Don't be a statistic!

PIX11 spoke with Chief John Murray of the Nassau County Firefighters Museum.

Murray says the best space heaters are completely enclosed units with oil inside so nothing can catch fire.

He's fought too many fires from space heaters that have tipped over and ignited rugs, drapes, blankets and beds. Each year nearly 500 people die in these preventable blazes, according the the National Fire Protection Association.

Here at the Elmont Fire Dept. Burn Tower, we lit up a Christmas Tree that is dried out to show just how quickly it becomes an inferno.

Although the numbers of annual fires started by trees are in the hundreds, they can be particularly deadly for how quickly they burn. A room can be fully engulfed in flames in just 15 seconds.

To stay safe:  Buy a fresh tree, keep it in your home for only 7-10 days, give it a fresh cut, keep watering. And check your lights Before you put them on tree. Too many lives have been lost to a faulty $4 string of lights, says Chief Murray.