Within just 30 seconds, your home could be up in flames if you leave your Christmas tree dry.

"If they do catch on fire, they're incredibly fast at burning up and can create a huge fire in your home,” said Lt. Chris Halliday with the Manlius Fire Department.

The National Fire Protection Association says 1 of every 52 Christmas tree fires at home ended with a death.

But, that's just one type of winter fire the Manlius Fire Department responds to.

"The chimney fires and space heater issues could certainly be an increase this time of year,” said Halliday.



A New Hartford resident had her own scary experience with a space heater.

She says there was smoke and everything melted together, but it could have been worse.

"A space heater has to be plugged into directly the outlet itself,” said Halliday. “It should never be used with an extension cord or a power strip."

He also says it's important to follow the three foot rule.

"You can't have anything that can catch fire within three feet of it,” said Halliday. “The most common mistake is people put them right under their windows, but they'll have the curtains right around it."

If you're trying to stay warm with the help of your chimney, Halliday says clean it once a year.

"Even if you didn't use it the previous season,” said Halliday. “You should have it inspected to make sure there's no buildup inside and to prevent a chimney fire from happening."

Safety tips that Halliday says people should take seriously.

"It's something that we need to pay more attention to,” said Halliday. “Every year, there's over 3,000 people killed because of fires in our country, hundred or so firefighters who lose their lives."

The fires also leave behind a lot of damage.

The US Fire Administration says there is $2 billion in property loss each year from winter fires.

The Fire Protection Association says cooking is the leading cause of home fires and heating is second.

In case of a fire, Halliday advises people to have an escape plan -- know two ways out of every room and a meeting place once you get outside of the house.