260 home fires which started with Christmas Trees per year

Christmas Tree Fire Hazard in Homes & Places of Assembly

For many years, I have been a Member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the United States of America … a rich source of fire safety related research and information … vital to the everyday practice of modern fire engineering design.

A recent NFPA Safety Notification will be of interest to Home Owners … and Managers in Places of Assembly/Recreation/Public Resort (Établissements Recevant du Public), e.g. Hotels, Shopping Centres and Restaurants … during the prolonged Irish Christmas period … which is now stretching from mid-December to mid-January every year.

And, to overcome the ‘Recession Blues’ here … many people have already put up their Christmas decorations !

This NFPA and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Video very clearly and dramatically demonstrates the fire behaviour of a Natural Dry Christmas Tree … compared to a Natural Christmas Tree which has been watered regularly …

Link to NFPA/UL Christmas Tree Fire Test on YouTube 

Fire Statistics in Ireland are not reliable … but, to give you some idea of the scale of the problem, a few interesting Facts and Figures are available from across the pond …

  • From 2003-2008 … United States Fire Departments responded to an average of 260 home fires, which started with Christmas Trees, per year.  These fires caused an average of 14 deaths and 26 injuries … with $13.8 million in direct property damage annually ;
  • Christmas Tree fires are not common, but when they occur, they are likely to be serious.  On average, one in every 21 reported fires which began with a Christmas Tree resulted in death ;
  • A heat source too close to the Christmas Tree started one in every five (19%) of these fires.

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Have a Safe Christmas !!

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