In partnership with the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM), Local 1347 would like would like to remind you that although a natural, live Christmas Tree is a beautiful addition to your home, it needs to be properly maintained to avoid a significant fire hazard.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that there is an estimated annual average of 210 home structure fires that begin with Christmas trees. Based on data from 2002 through 2005, these fires caused an average of 24 civilian deaths, 27 civilian injuries, and $13.3 million in direct property damage per year.
The NFPA analysis also shows that although the number of Christmas tree fires is low, these fires represent a higher level of hazard. On average, 1 of every 9 Christmas tree fires resulted in a fatality compared to an average of one death per 75 non-confined home structure fires overall. Further, 49 % of Christmas tree fires spread beyond the room of origin. The fires that spread beyond the room of origin caused 94 % of the associated fatalities.
The percentage of trees involved in structure fires represent an extremely small portion of the total number of natural Christmas trees sold, which is estimated at 30 million trees, in the United States each year. The moisture content of each tree can play a dominant role in determining the fire hazard each tree represents.
Properly maintaining a cut Christmas tree is important to retaining a high moisture content in the needles of the tree to limit accidental ignition and prevent rapid flame spread. A tree which has dry needles can readily ignite with a flaming source and generate heat release rates that are capable of causing flashover in residential scale rooms.
Video produced by NIST - National Institute of Standards & Technology
Article from pffm.org
Shovel your hydrants...
It's that time again. Winter is upon us. As a reminder to all residents of Watertown, shovel the hydrants closest to your house and save time in the event of an emergency.