According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 200 home fires each year start with a Christmas tree. In this video, NIST fire researchers demonstrate what could happen if a fire starts in a watered Christmas tree vs. a dry Christmas tree.
image/text credit: NIST
In the video below, NIST fire researchers demonstrate what happens if a fire starts in a watered Christmas tree versus a dry Christmas tree. As you would imagine, the dry tree goes up in flames in an instant and can easily destroy your home.
Remember to water your Christmas tree daily! All it takes is a tiny spark to cause a massive, destructive fire. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer.
Picking the tree
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2″ from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.