WPI Demo Underscores Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Christmas Tree fire

In an effort to raise awareness about fire safety this holiday season, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) department hosted a dramatic live presentation on November 29 to show what can happen to a Christmas tree if not properly maintained. Video from the event can be seen below.

Engineers constructed a mock living room setup, complete with furniture, rug, curtains, and a decorated Christmas tree. Cameras were rolling when the dry tree was exposed to a flame. Within 25 seconds, the branches were fully engulfed and within another 10 seconds, fire had spread to the ceiling and to nearby furnishings. The entire room was thick with fire and smoke and flashover occurred within 63 seconds.

“These fires can be rapid and intense,” said Tahar El Korchi, FPE interim department head. “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.”

For more about the demo, CLICK HERE.


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