Skip directly to content

NIST: Why You Should Water Your Christmas Tree

on December 5, 2017 - 8:01am
A live Christmas tree burn conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows just how quickly a dried out Christmas tree fire burns, with flashover occurring in less than one minute, as compared to a well-watered tree, which burns at a much slower rate. Courtesy/NIST
 
Courtesy/NIST
 
NIST News:
 
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 200 home fires each year start with a Christmas tree. In these videos, Click here, NIST fire researchers demonstrate what could happen if a fire starts in a watered Christmas tree vs. a dry Christmas tree.
 
Christmas Tree Safety Tips:

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.

After Christmas

  • 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.
More informationFor information about fire research at NIST, visit the Fire Research Division website and the National Fire Research Laboratory homepage.

Advertisements