Researchers from Worchester Polytechnic Institute staged a Christmas tree fire to show it only takes 63 seconds for a fire to spread beyond the tree to other parts of the living room.
Fire protection lab director Raymond Ranellone staged the live burn demonstration in the university’s fire lab Tuesday to show what happens when a dry tree ignites, said The Telegram & Gazette.
Touching a tree that had not been watered for three weeks with a blowtorch, the researchers showed flashover was achieved in just one minute and three seconds when the fire spread to the room’s carpet.
"That’s when the contents of the room simultaneously reach ignition," said Worcester Deputy Fire Chief John Sullivan, The Telegram & Gazette reported.
WPI’s goal in conducting the demonstration was to show a tree fire could spread to other parts of the home more quickly than even the fastest fire response times and encourage people to use safety precautions when bringing a real Christmas tree into their homes.
WPI recommended keeping open flames away from the tree, watering the tree often, and turning off tree lights when you leave the house. Sullivan also said it’s a good idea not to keep the tree up too long after Christmas because it will dry out eventually even if you water it.
There are an average of 210 house fires in which Christmas trees were to blame each year, according to The Associated Press. Tree fires between 2009 and 2013 killed seven, injured 19, and caused $17.5 million in property damage, said the National Fire Protection Association, the AP reported.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.