Real Christmas trees are great! They fill your house with the wonderful smell of pine. There's another, not so pleasant, smell your tree can fill the house with, smoke! If you're not careful with your tree, it can become a raging inferno real fast.  Check out this video from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute that shows how quickly a Christmas tree can catch fire and spread. They set up a tree in a mock living room and set it on fire. The room filled with smoke In 15 seconds. The flames engulfed the tree in one minute, and reduced the room to a smoldering inferno.

Tahar El Korchi, interim head of the Fire Protection Engineering department said, “These fires can be rapid and intense. The fuel content of trees that have dried out can be much more easily vaporized, promoting a quick rate of combustion. A small ignition source can result in a fireball of intense energy release in a very short time period, threatening the life safety of all inhabitants of the structure." There were an average of 210 Christmas trees fires between 2009 and 2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Remember to keep your tree watered, and make sure the lights are in good repair. Don't overload wall sockets or extension cords. Don't run cords under carpet. Have a safe, merry Christmas!


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