Christmas tree fire safety demonstration shows how quickly trees can ignite

- The Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering hosted its third annual Christmas tree fire safety demonstration Wednesday.

The demonstration consisted of a series of fire experiments on both natural and artificial Christmas trees and showed the burning behavior of tree fires.

The experiments demonstrated the impact of moisture content on ignition, fire growth rate, and peak burning behavior.

The department says Christmas tree fires are five times more deadly than the average house fire.

The Department of Fire Protection Engineering says U.S. fire departments respond to an annual average of 230 home structure fires that begin with Christmas trees, according to statistics they reviewed from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Each year, they reported, those fires cause an average of six civilian deaths, 22 civilian injuries, and $18.3 million in direct property damages. One of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.

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