It can happen in the blink of an eye.

One minute is all it took for a dry Christmas tree to engulf an entire room in flames. The Round Rock Fire Department joined Protect America security experts in a demonstration of just how dangerous an improperly cared-for Christmas tree can be.

News cameras and employees gathered around a large wooden box. Inside was a simulated living room assembled by fire marshals and Protect America staff. The tree, like any other, was dripping with shiny ornaments and decorations. Presents gathered at its base and a fluffy chair sat close by.

Protect America CEO Scott Fleming, with fire fighters standing behind him, reflected on the demonstration’s importance. “Something as benign as a Christmas tree can be a real danger if not cared-for properly,” he said. “Home fires during this time can be particularly devastating, which is why we’re determined to prevent them.”

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Protect America CEO Scott Fleming

 

Round Rock Fire Marshal and Battalion Chief Dennis Kincheloe also stressed the gravity of the matter at hand — telling the crowd that, according to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of over $17 million in property damage and seven deaths are attributed to Christmas tree fires every year.

But don’t take our word for it.

See for yourself in the video below:

In thirty seconds, the tree had been consumed by the fire. In one minute, the entire room was engulfed in flames. All that remained were the charred semblance of a chair, burned picture frames and ash.

Breaking news

A local TV news crew captured the fire as it unfolded, then gave some useful tips on how to prevent one.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

We want to thank the Round Rock Fire Department for donating their time and expertise to help us make this public service announcement. When your smoke detector sounds, these are the brave men and women who answer the call. Look below to see a fascinating infographic released by the fire department and Protect America.

Christmas Tree Fire Infographic