The Abington Township Fire Department issued a statement this week to encourage area residents to be safe with their Christmas trees.
“Between 2012-2016, United States fire departments responded to an average 170 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year,” according to the statement. “These fires caused an average of 4 deaths, 15 injuries, and $12 million in direct property damage annually.”
“On average, one of every 45 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 139 total reported home fires,” the statement continued. “Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43% of home Christmas tree fires.”
“In one-quarter (27%) of the Christmas tree fires and in 80% of the deaths, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree,” according to the statement.
It may amaze people, but the statement indicates that “More than one-fifth (22%) of Christmas tree fires were intentional.”
Statistics included in the statement indicated that “forty-two percent of reported home Christmas tree fires occurred in December and 33% were reported in January [while] two of every five (40%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den.”
The Abington Township Fire Department stated that the source of this information was the National Fire Protection Association.
The Abington Township Fire Department encouraged area residents to watch this video that had been posted by the National Fire Protection Association. A live Christmas tree burn conducted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission shows just how quickly a dried out Christmas tree fire burns, with flashover occurring in less than one minute, as compared to a well-watered tree, which burns at a much slower rate.
The photograph and video are provided courtesy of the Abington Township Fire Department, the National Fire Protection Association, and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2015.