TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The holiday season is in full swing, and local fire officials want to remind you of the hazards Christmas trees can cause if they’re not cared for properly.

Billy Roberts, Deputy Fire Marshal for the Terre Haute Fire Department, said it’s important to ensure a tree is fresh when purchasing it.

He explained you can do this by making sure the needles are green, and making sure the needles aren’t falling off the tree easily.

Another suggestion is to leave the tree outside in a bucket of water for a few days before bringing it inside to ensure maximum freshness.

“A lot of people may do a little spray paint, a green spray paint on the tree prior to selling the tree, look for stuff like that, just to make sure it is not too dry,” Roberts said.

He also said to water the tree every day, and always turn the Christmas tree lights off when you go to sleep or leave the house.

Roberts said even if you don’t get a real or “live” tree, a “fake” tree can still be dangerous.

“If you’re purchasing an artificial Christmas tree, look for somewhere on the label or packaging that says ‘fire retardant’. Make sure that it’s been sprayed with some sort of fire retardant material, fire proof material,” Roberts said.

Roberts emphasized to always make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.

He said it’s also a good idea to dispose of the “live” tree after the holiday, or once it becomes dry.