Firefighters have a long list of concerns as we race toward the new year. Celebrations surrounding Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and of course New Year's Eve, all come with the potential to spark a seasonal fire.
The lights, candles and cooking that bring holiday cheer may also increase the risk of fire.
Studies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency show winter fires usually cause more damage and lead to more deaths because they're more likely to happen in someone's home.
The latest news from around North Texas.
And seasonal fires are more prone to happen in the winter weather months in Texas when more people are using heaters, cooking and lighting candles -- perhaps a little too close to the Christmas tree.
The Lancaster Fire Department put on a live demonstration just for NBC 5 to show how quickly a Christmas tree in someone's living room can go up in flames.
Firefighters took a live Christmas tree -- complete with the tinsel, ornaments and even wrapped presents -- and set it on fire.
Within just 20 seconds, the entire tree was fully engulfed. Within four minutes, the decorations, curtains and presents in the display were burnt to a crisp.
Firefighters were ready to go with a hose and water to put the flames out quickly. The entire display was contained in a wooden structure, thanks to donations from Home Depot.
The demonstrations showed why you should keep your candles at least 3 feet away from decorations and trash any string lights with frayed wires or finicky bulbs.
Don't use nails or sharp pins to hang your lights outside or inside in case you pierce the wires.
Lancaster Fire Marshal Shawn Gary is also urging families to come up with an evacuation plan.
"We try to teach them very young to have a fire safety plan. Go over that fire safety plan with their parents or people they live with, that they know with any type of emergency they have a place they can go meet -- the tree, the curb, different things like that," he said.
The same rules apply for space heaters. According to local reports, a family in Tyler nearly lost their home last month when a space heater caught on fire and destroyed the second floor.
"Keep your space heaters away from any type of flammables. Make sure they're at least three feet away. UL recommends using some of the space heaters that they automatically shut off once they are tipped over," suggested Gary.
Make sure your smoke detectors are working and that the batteries are up to date. Lancaster Fire Department offers free fire alarms and installation for residents who need one. You can reach them at 972-218-2600.
Check with your local fire department for similar programs.