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University of Maryland Demonstrates the Danger of Christmas Tree Fire Safety

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Nick Slovikoski2 years ago

With Christmas around the corner, The University of Maryland Department of Fire Safety Engineering, founded in 1956, is urging people to take precautions with Christmas trees in their home.

About Christmas Tree Fire Hazards

Like many families, Lloyd and Susan Creger opt to put up an artificial Christmas tree in addition to a real Fraser fir. However, they also acknowledge that both types of Christmas tree can pose a very real hazard.

At the second annual University of Maryland Fire Safety demonstration, the Creger demonstrated these dangers of in an attempt to raise awareness. In their demonstration, both live and artificial Christmas trees were ignited to show just how fast a Christmas tree fire can occur reports that Washington Post.

Though much safer than real trees, artificial trees can also be a hazard.

“The surprising aspect of artificial trees is that they still burn, though more slowly than natural trees,” said Jim Milke, chairman of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at U-Md.

Fire Safety Numbers

  • Fire Departments respond to an average of 230 calls annually regarding home fires sparked by Christmas trees.
  • They say these result in average of 6 deaths and 22 injuries each year.
  • $18.3 million in damages are caused annually by Christmas tree fires.
  • In January, an Annapolis fire claimed the lives of Don and Sandra Pyle as well as their 4 grandchildren. Experts say this was caused by a real Christmas tree which had not been watered in about two months, making it highly combustible


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