LOCAL NEWS

Tips to prevent Christmas tree fires

Dec 23, 2022, 12:36 PM | Updated: 4:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — With the holiday weekend, the last thing anyone wants for Christmas is for a tree, home, or anything else to go up in flames.

The Red Cross of Utah and the Salt Lake City Fire Department teamed up on Friday to demonstrate just how fast a Christmas tree can catch fire and spread. Ten seconds is all it takes for a live tree that’s dried to go up in flames.

In the demonstration’s case, like many families, the tree was purchased about three weeks ago.

The furniture next to it, both couches, also caught fire within a minute or so. In this demonstration, one side was exposed which allowed heat to escape.

Salt Lake City Fire Capt. Shaun Mumedy said if this fire were to break out inside a home, it would be much worse.

“The fire. A lot of that heat was escaping. In a house, it doesn’t. It gets contained and ends up catching the rest of the room on fire,” Mumedy said.

It takes literally seconds for a fire starting from a dry Christmas tree to spread, but it takes minutes to put out all the flames, even among firefighters.

“Lot of those plastics start to burn down and turn into the couch materials and really essentially end up being a bunch of melting plastics. So that presents a certain hazard to firefighters as well in our ability to put it out and extinguish it as well as the chemicals we encounter,” Mumedy said.

Salt Lake City firefighters said every year across the U.S., there are about 200 of these kinds of fires a year.

A handful of those happen here in Salt Lake.

Mumedy said your best bet if Christmas tree flames start flying is to stay low to the ground and get out of the house.

“This is just a typical fire extinguisher you can buy at Home Depot. Lowe’s. Any hardware store. This is what most people have in their home… This is not going to be very effective. We have way too much fire in such a short amount of time,” said Mumedy.

Prevention is key.

Tips to keep a fire from happening in the first place:

  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet from any heat source, such as a space heater, heat vent, or fireplace.
  • Always turn off tree lights before leaving home or tucking in for the night.

The Red Cross has a fire campaign where they will install three free smoke alarms for people.

Going into January, Salt Lake City Fire and the Red Cross said they tend to see more of these incidents happen as Christmas trees dry out.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Madison Swenson

$150,000 stolen from Utah woman’s bank account; investigation underway

Authorities are investigating after more than $150,000 was allegedly stolen from an elderly woman's bank account in North Ogden.
13 hours ago
...
Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio

Alpine schools investigating ‘suspicious’ computer activity

People in the Alpine School District are dealing with a tech headache connected to what they describe as a computer security issue.
13 hours ago
[File] Utah Highway Patrol State Trooper car (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

Accident leads to discovery of child porn, $30K cash, magic mushroom bars, UHP says

Utah Highway Patrol troopers investigating a crash in southern Utah arrested two people after they said they discovered child pornography, chocolate bars with THC and $30,000 cash.
13 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Tooele County teacher named latest ‘Most Valuable Educator’ by Utah Jazz, Instructure

The Utah Jazz, Instructure and KSL TV are teaming up to honor the state’s most valuable educators, and the latest teacher to join the group is Mrs. Kim Nielsen from Rose Springs Elementary School.
13 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Pat Reavy

Drug deal gone bad led to double killing in Taylorsville, police say

Taylorsville police have arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with a double killing at an apartment complex Monday night after the man surrendered Tuesday.
13 hours ago
A herd of elk cross I-80 near the mouth of Parleys Canyon on Feb. 1, 2023. (UDOT)...
Josh Ellis

Herd of elk causes delays on roads near Parleys Canyon; 2 hit, killed by vehicles

The Utah Department of Transportation warned drivers to be on the lookout as around 40 elk crossed roads near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Tips to prevent Christmas tree fires