Holiday family tradition for my family in Utah: every year in December, everyone in the family goes up the mountain to find Christmas trees. After getting married and moving to Australia, I’ve come to love my fake little Christmas tree (less sticky sap). I’ve been informed, however, that there are places here to buy pine trees for Christmas. While I do miss the smell of pine trees, I do admit that there are other downsides to real Christmas trees than just the sap. A big threat is that of your pretty, authentic tree catching fire.

Just like those flowers your spouse gave you for your birthday or anniversary, real Christmas trees need to be watered. Once they’ve been cut, they begin drying up just like any other plant and those things can burn in a matter of seconds, not to mention what they could do to your home. The CPSC has a video of an unwatered Christmas trees fully ablaze in the span of five seconds. Everything was on fire within a minute and on-hand firefighters had to put the flames out.

So how do they catch on fire? A variety of heat sources can cause a dry tree to catch fire. This can be anything as being too close to a heater or open flame (candles or fire places). There are chances that faulty Christmas tree lights could also cause fires.

Now, how do we make sure our pretty tree doesn’t burn the house down? First, water it. The stand needs to be filled with water at all times. You want a tree with green needles that are difficult to pull off and, as much as I hate it, sap is a good sign too. Trees that lose a lot of needles from a little shaking are dry and have been cut for too long. Also, don’t place it by a heat source such as a heater or fire place. And always check that your Christmas tree lights are working properly.

For those of you who prefer the fake trees, you may want to check into trees that say “fire resistant.”

CPSC Christmas Tree Fire: https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/Video/dry-christmas-tree-vs-well-watered-christmas-tree

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