Milwaukee Fire Department offers tips to prevent Christmas tree fires

Posted at 3:11 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 17:11:22-05

MILWAUKEE -- Shocking video shows why you should keep your Christmas tree watered.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released the video showing a side-by-side comparison of two trees on fire: One that had been watered and one that was dry.

The video shows the dry tree bursting into the flames in under 10 seconds, sparking a massive fire.The fire in the watered tree didn't spread and remained contained.

Lieutenant Michael Ball with the Milwaukee Fire Department said, "Christmas tree fires don't happen as often as you might think, but when they do happen they lead to injury or death."

The National Fire Protection Association reports more than 200 home fires each year start with a Christmas tree. Those fires caused an average of six deaths. 

To help avoid a Christmas tree fire, MFD recommends the following tips:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, or vents. 
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas.