This Video Shows How Your Dry Christmas Tree Can Cause a Deadly House Fire
Making sure your Christmas tree is well watered can help prevent house fires this holiday season. Trees pose a fire risk to homes if they are dry which makes them highly flammable.
Christmas can be a dangerous season, gift-buying stress and spending time with irritating relatives can cause all manner of health problems. But one tradition can literally be a case of life or death; the indoor Christmas tree. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a video reminding people who love to have a real Christmas tree inside that keeping it well watered is essential for home fires safety. A dry Christmas tree can pose a serious fire hazard. The tree and leaves contain highly-flammable oil that can spontaneously combust. Other fire triggers include wood-burning stoves, candles or short circuits in cheap Christmas lights.
According to the United States National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 2017 Christmas Tree fact sheet, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 200 fires in homes that started from Christmas trees between 2011–2015. These fires caused an average of 6 civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage. While the fact sheet admits Christmas tree fires are not common, they are very deadly. The report states that on ‘average one out of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 143 reported home fires.’ The leading cause of Christmas tree fires is electrical distribution or lighting equipment. To minimize the risk of fire the NFPA has a fact sheet that outlines hints and tips for a safe holiday season including how to pick, place and care for your Christmas tree.