BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Chopping down a Christmas tree is a long-standing tradition for some families.

What some people might not know is that they can be a fire safety hazard if not taken care of properly, especially if they’re not properly hydrated.

A tree that has been watered doesn’t catch fire as quickly.

Boardman Fire officials say once the tree is dry and the needles start to fall off, they can act as kindling.

“So when they become dry, it kind of goes from a matter of minutes for that tree to catch to a matter of seconds, and they burn very hot, very quickly,” said Boardman Fire Captain Will Ferrando.

Ferrando said to keep an eye on the tree, and if the needles are starting to fall off, it might be time to get rid of the tree.