Monday, December 10, 2012

This is of course the time of year that fire safety experts typically warn about the dangers of Christmas tree fires in the home or business. Most folks do not realize how fast a dry Christmas tree can get out of control when catching fire. The following video is in real-time that shows two trees, one well watered and one that is dry:

According to Marty Aherns with the National Fire Protection Association, between 2005 and 2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 240 Christmas tree fires per year resulting in an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries and $16.7 million dollars in property damage. 1 out of every 18 Christmas tree fires resulted in one or more deaths.

So what can you do? First, keep your tree well watered. A tree measuring 6 feet or higher can soak up to one gallon or more per day. Second, keep your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources including heater registers in the floor or ceiling. Third, check you lights for any damage and always make sure they are UL approved. Fourth, remove the tree as soon as possible after the holidays, particularly if you put up your tree during the Thanksgiving holiday. Last, never place a tree so as to block egress from the home or business.

As you can see from the videos, Christmas tree fires, although rare, are usually very serious and can quickly get out of control and trap you inside the home. This would be a good time to familiarize yourself and family members with your fire escape plan and conduct your Bi-Annual fire drill.

From Crosshair Fire Investigations and Safety Consultants, we wish you a safe holiday season and a happy new year.

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