By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Firefighters throughout the region are extra vigilant this time of year due to the risk of Christmas tree fires.

The Philadelphia Fire Department is conducting its annual effort to warn people about the potential dangers.

Members of the Jr. Fire Patrol from a Center City Chinese Catholic School watched Deputy Commissioner Jesse Wilson demonstrate the proper way to make a fresh cut at the base of a Christmas tree.

They also learned the importance of keeping trees watered and the risk posed by electrical cords.

Wilson says the fire department will be taking its message to a larger audience through the distribution of tree tags with tips on tree care and maintenance.

“If we can save one life because of one person who follows our tree cutting and tree preservation directions, then it’s a positive outcome for us.”

After the holidays, the Streets Department will launch its annual tree recycling program at three drop off centers– Domino Lane and Umbria, State Road and Ashburner and 63rd and Passyunk.

The program runs from January 2nd through the 14th.