Americans are being warned of the hidden danger their Christmas trees present with a shocking video illustrating how fast one can catch on fire. A single spark lights up the dry tree in the video, which was published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The sobering footage has been released to warn families about the danger during the holiday season. By the ten-second mark, flames are pouring from the tree, and after 20 seconds huge flames and smoke had overwhelmed it.
Pretty soon, the fire had spread to surrounding furniture and walls.
The commission said on its website that people should keep lighted candles away from trees and also place live Christmas trees away from heat sources while keeping them well-watered.
Consumers can also look for a label that reads “fire resistant” when buying an artificial tree.
Around 200 Christmas trees catch fire every year, with 10 deaths, 20 injuries, and $17 million in property loss resulting.
In one case in Annapolis, Maryland earlier this year a huge mansion owned by a tech tycoon went up into smoke because of such a fire.
Don Pyle, his wife, and four grandchildren died on January 19 after an overstocked electrical outlet sparked and flames started burning the 15-foot tree.