Terrifying reason you must water your Christmas tree daily

17 December 2021, 13:57

Dry Christmas trees are a fire hazard as they cause a very fast spread of flames
Dry Christmas trees are a fire hazard as they cause a very fast spread of flames. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Keep your family and your home safe this Christmas by watering your Christmas tree daily and keeping it hydrated.

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With Christmas a matter of days away, millions of homes across the world are filled with the same thing – a Christmas tree.

And while the classic fern is the perfect way to bring the festivities inside, it is also important you know how to stop yours from becoming a serious fire hazard.

For years now, fire departments have been urging people to keep their Christmas trees hydrated in order to stop them becoming dangerous.

If your Christmas tree caught fire today, and it had not been watered, it would take less than 30 seconds for the entire tree to be destroyed, and in turn the room it is in.

Make sure you are topping up the water for your Christmas tree daily
Make sure you are topping up the water for your Christmas tree daily. Picture: Getty

In shocking footage created by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), you can see the speed at which fire spreads across the dry tree and the watered tree.

In seconds, the dry tree is engulfed in the flames, while the moisture in the watered tree stops the fire from taking over as quickly.

In the horrific warning footage, at the one minute mark, the dry tree is destroyed, and the fire is continuing to burn through the furniture and walls of the room.

Meanwhile, the watered tree has kept the fire contained to one area of the tree and a smoke signal coming from the pines appears to be enough to alert someone in the family of the fire.

Christmas tree fires cause serious damage to homes and lives every year, in fact, The National Fire Protection Agency found that between 2011 to 2015 U.S fire departments responded to around 200 home fires started by trees.

Tragically, one in every 32 of these resulted in a death.

The flames will spread in seconds on a dry Christmas tree
The flames will spread in seconds on a dry Christmas tree. Picture: Getty

So, how do you keep your Christmas tree hydrated?

First of all, you're going to want to purchase a stand which allows the trunk of the tree to sit in a pool of water, like you would with a bunch of flowers.

Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's technical and engineering director, advises: "Your stand should have a water reservoir that can hold one quart of water per inch of the stem's diameter."

To put it more simply, you should be topping the water in your Christmas tree's stand up daily.

Make sure that your tree is nowhere near a fireplace or another heated source and keep an eye on fairy lights on the tree or leaning on the tree which could be frayed.