Tinley Park, IL (December 1, 2021) – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), holiday decorations can increase the risk for a home fire during the holiday season. In particular, Christmas trees account for more than 160 fires and result in more than $10 million in direct property damage in the United States every year. The most common causes for tree fires include issues with electrical lighting equipment, which is a factor in half of all tree fires, and heat sources such as candles or heating equipment being too close to trees.

To increase awareness about how quickly fire can spread, the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) partnered with the Palatine Fire Department to produce a Christmas tree fire safety video for Illinois fire departments to share with their communities during the holiday season. In addition to providing fire safety tips, the video includes footage of multiple fires, with and without home fire sprinklers, that were started in identical rooms with live and artificial trees. In the unprotected rooms, the fires reached flashover in approximately three minutes or less, fully erupting into flames and reaching well over 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. In the rooms protected with home fire sprinklers, heat from the tree fires each caused a single fire sprinkler to activate in less than 20 seconds and prevent the fires from spreading.

“Christmas trees are a staple in many homes throughout the holiday season. We wanted to provide a visual to remind people to follow simple safety tips to prevent fires in their homes,” said NIFSAB Executive Director Erik Hoffer. “We do not want to see anyone without a house or home, especially during the holidays, due to a preventable fire.”

When putting up a Christmas tree, residents should follow these important safety tips that are featured in the video:

  • Water live trees daily.
  • Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source and it is not blocking any exits.
  • Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory such as UL.
  • Do not use lights strands with worn or broken cords or loose bulbs.
  • Always turn off the tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

The new video reinforces the life- and property-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers. More than 115 communities and fire districts in Illinois require fire sprinklers in all new construction one- and two-family homes. Fire sprinklers are the only technology that actively control a fire and gives residents time to safety escape. “With home fire sprinklers, working smoke alarms, and regularly practiced fire escape plans, families can have peace of mind and comfortably enjoy the holiday season,” adds Hoffer.

View the video: https://firesprinklerassoc.org/christmas-tree-demo-video/