NAMPA, ID — According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 200 home fires start with a Christmas tree each year.
Battalion Chief Brad Terry, with the Nampa Fire Department, says it's crucial to pick out a fresh tree and check the needles.
"Bang it on the ground, see if a lot of the needles fall off. There should only be a few needles falling off. You can also bend the needles. If the needles break, that usually means the tree's dry," said Terry.
The tree should be watered at least once a day and shouldn't be near any heat sources said Terry.
"I've seen entire houses burned up from these both mobile homes and also houses. Houses usually lose a room or two. I've seen entire mobile homes burned up by Christmas trees, which also brings up that you need to have working smoke detectors and make sure your exits are always clear. That way, if there is a problem, that way you're able to get out of the house," said Terry
Space heaters need to be away from anything flammable and turned off when your away.
"I remember distinctly over on 16th Avenue North. I was fairly new, like really new, and we'd go up in this trailer house, and it's ripping good. It was blowing out the front door, and by the time I had the line in there. It was a mobile home. By the time I had got in there, it had burned almost everything. I got it put out, but it was all from a Christmas tree."
To see Idaho cities that recycle Christmas trees after the holiday head here, pickyourownchristmastree.org.