Published: Dec 18, 2013 11:20 AM EST
Updated: Dec 18, 2013 11:22 AM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Fort Myers fire deparment demonstrated how quickly a fire can start on an improperly maintained Christmas tree. Working along with FIRESERVICE insurance adjusters, fire fighters purposely ignited a tree that had not been watered in more than 2 weeks. The tree went up in flames in a matter of seconds. They then ignited a living room setting, showing how quickly a small fire can get out of control and the need for people to understand the urgency in getting out of a burning structure. Ft Myers fire chief Ken Dobson says if you have a real tree, you should check the water levels at the base at least every other day. You should also check to ensure the tree is not turning brown or dropping an excessive amount of needles. These are signs the tree is drying out and should be discarded. Also, never leave Christmas tree lights on when you are not at home.