Utica, N.Y.— Christmas tree farms across the country are seeing a surge in demand this year, as people now more than ever want to hold onto the joys of Christmas. As more and more families rely on their local Christmas tree farm, it begs the question, which is safer, an artificial tree or a real tree?

“They are both actually hazards fire hazards,” Utica Fire Marshal Gerald Foster revealed. “It all depends on how you take care of both trees.”

The United States Fire Administration reports that 400 lives are lost every year from a holiday season fire. Christmas trees when purchased too early, not properly hydrated, and left out long after they have dried out, can pose a serious harm to you and your family. But artificial trees, which are often thought to be safer, are not always flame retardant and the ones that come with lights aren’t inspected as often as they should be, and overtime the cords begin to fringe posing a serious fire hazard.

“A live Christmas tree is actually good to have,” Foster said. “It all depends on how you take care of it, you have to take care of it as soon as you buy the tree so that actually goes right from when you cut the tree down to when you throw out the tree at the end of the holiday season.”

While it may seem obvious to some, taking care of a real tree means watering it several times a day.

The most important aspect is watering it,” Marianne Buttenschon, Owner of Buttenschon Christmas Trees said. “And it’ll take water every day so you want to make sure it’s apart of your routine when the tree is in your home that you ensure it has the appropriate water in the stand.”