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How your Christmas tree could turn into a fire tragedy

PUBLISHED: 07:59 23 December 2010 | UPDATED: 09:33 23 December 2010

Screen grab from the fire services YouTube video.

Screen grab from the fire services YouTube video.

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A dramatic video of how quickly a Christmas tree fire can be spread has been released to warn people to not allow tragedy to strike in their home this Christmas.

Screen grab from the fire services YouTube video.

Fire safety footage released by the Fire Kills campaign on video-sharing website YouTube shows a family lounge being destroyed in just 46 seconds because of a fire sparked by faulty Christmas lights on an authentic tree.

Statistics from last year show that of the 429 domestic fires in Norfolk, December was one of the busiest months for firefighters with a total of 46. The short film aims to hammer home the reality of increased fire risk over the festive season and people are being urged to help spread the warning to friends and family.

The one-minute video counts the seconds as the house fire rapidly spreads, reminding people just how little time they have to escape should a fire break out.

Many people are unaware of the potential fire hazards and toxic threats that can lurk in fairy lights, candles and flammable Christmas decorations. As a result Fire and Rescue Services across the country are urging people to take extra care as they get into the festive spirit this Christmas.

The Government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser Sir Ken Knight said: “Everyone enjoys the festive cheer that a Christmas tree and decorations can bring to a home. But the sad fact is that all this can act as extra fuel for a potential house fire. Unsafe electrical decorations, overloaded plugs and unattended candles are all potential causes of fire.

“Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke from a fire can render a person unconscious and you have less time to escape than you think. It only takes a minute for festive celebrations to go up in smoke, so I urge everyone to be fire safe this year and have a great Christmas.”

Dry Christmas trees, decorations and wrapped presents can all provide means for a fire to spread in the home so Fire Kills have issued a list of precautions to take, as well as reminded people to test their fire alarms as soon as possible.

To see just how quickly festive celebrations can go up in smoke this Christmas, visit www.youtube.com/ watch?v=hMtjGfr0tYs.

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