NIST: Why You Should Water Your Christmas Tree

Christmas tree on fire

There’s nothing quite as delightful as a well-lit tree on Christmas morning…that is, as long as the tree is lit by colorful bulbs and not an unexpected burst of flames.

An average of 160 home fires were started by Christmas trees each year from 2013 to 2017. These fires cost lives and millions of dollars in property damage, but as shown in the following videos from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), keeping trees watered can save the holidays.

Fire Burns a Christmas Tree

Watered Tree vs. Dry Tree

The above video places footage of a dry tree burning side-by-side with one that has been watered. The contrast between the trees’ flammability is demonstrated, as the dry tree is quickly engulfed, burning down in under a minute, while the watered tree endures. The video above that, which is accompanied by music, offers various camera angles and sped up footage of the dry tree as it burns.

More resources from NIST on holiday fire safety


WPI Demo Underscores Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Electrical Fire Ignited Christmas Tree in Fatal Maryland Mansion Fire

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