Few people realize the hazard a Christmas tree can present if it is ignited. Christmas tree fires are common during the holiday season. Why? Have you ever had many strings of lights on your Christmas tree…and all of them plugged into one slender extension cord. I’m afraid that describes most of us.
Do you leave your lights (inside or out) on all night? Do you leave your lights on while you are away? How long would it take the ceiling to be involved if your Christmas tree was ignited at its base? This answer will probably surprise you…approximately 4 seconds. With optimum conditions (an extremely dry tree & available heat/ignition source), fire spreads and rapidly moves right up the tree to the ceiling. Even more surprising, in a living room, approximately 12 x 16, the temperature of the room reaches over 1800 degrees in a scant 45 seconds. That’s hardly enough time to evacuate the upstairs. Even worse, unless you have maintained smoke detectors or a good dog or cat, you will probably not wake up. Why? One of the byproducts of combustion is carbon monoxide which drives you into a deeper sleep. All in all, fire safety is vital during the holidays. Please view this video of a Scotch Pine tree fire as tested by the National Institute of Science and Technology.
Merry Christmas and Be Safe!