Fire hazards and the holidays. Are they in your home?

The holidays may be a time for fun, but they are also a time when homes have many fire hazards.

Now, local emergency management officials are encouraging everyone to have common sense and keep an eye out for things that could cause problems.

A demonstration by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows a Christmas tree can be engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds.

That's no surprise to Onondaga County Emergency Management Commissioner Kevin Wisely.

"For a dried out tree, that is close to any type of a heating source, a tree can go up very quickly," says Wisely. "You want to make sure you keep any of your heating appliances away from that."

Wisely says also be careful when you're dealing with any open flames, including candles.

Fireplaces should be inspected annually, and they should have screens to contain the flames. If you're getting rid of ashes, put them in a metal container and get them out of the house.

Fire officials in Connecticut say flames from fireplace embers caused a fire that killed five people in Stamford.

In general, emergency management officials say it's important to keep an eye on your surroundings and remember the potential risks.

"We have a lot of things going on in our lives," says Wisely. "We have company coming. We have our kids playing in the house. You just have to use good common sense and pay attention to what you're doing. Take care of yourselves and take care of your family."