Live Christmas trees ignite very easily, especially if they are not properly cared for.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2010 to 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that were caused by Christmas Trees.
If your tree has brown, brittle needles, it means that the tree is dried out and can more easily catch fire. To show just how quickly this can happen, the Princeton Fire Department set fire to a tree donated by the Appalachian Teen Challenge. It went up in flames within five seconds.
“Basically what we had is a fire start at the bottom of the tree,” Chad Bailey, Princeton Fire Chief, said. “As you can see, it worked its way up the tree, then worked out from the wall, extending over into the furniture. Of course, all the presents caught fire.”
Firefighters in Princeton said the most important thing is to practice safety when you have a live Christmas tree inside your home.
“You know everything under the tree is replaceable,” Bailey, said. “It’s the families, the lives that matter to us. So as long as everybody gets out, that’s what we are aiming for.”
The National Fire Protection Agency has some tips to prevent Christmas Tree Fires. They want you to make sure that the tree is at least three feet from any heat source. Also, make sure to add water to the tree stand daily, and don’t use more than three strands of lights to decorate your tree. You should never use candles to decorate the tree or place them near the tree. Finally, you need to make sure to always unplug your tree before leaving the house or going to bed.