A video shared on Twitter by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission shows a simulated electrical fire starting in a dry Christmas tree, engulfing the room in as little as 40 seconds – serving as a warning to those decorating their homes this year.
“Many people have real Christmas trees in their homes for the first time in their history,” the commission said.
“Make sure you water your tree well. A dry Christmas tree burns faster than newspaper. ”
The video shows two simulations of the same living room side by side – one with a well-watered tree and the other with a dry tree.
As the watered tree begins to ignite, flames climb the branches and wisps of gray smoke reach the ceiling.
After about 30 seconds, the fire continues, but it does not reach elsewhere in the room and slowly dies out.
During this time, the dry tree begins to burn – and the result is horrible.
In less than 10 seconds, the entire tree is engulfed in flames reaching the ceiling and producing a thick plume of black smoke.
A paint on the wall begins to melt in about 25 seconds, before a nearby sofa is also caught in the fire.
After 40 seconds, firefighters rush to extinguish the flames.
Christmas trees should be watered daily and you can check how much water your tree needs based on its size.
According to UK Fire Resources, you should not place your tree near a heat source such as a fireplace or radiator. This could dry it out, making it more flammable.
You should also be careful not to drop or throw cigarette ashes near a tree and keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Preferably, you shouldn’t bring the Christmas trees alive too early or leave them for more than two weeks.