Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Fiery Video Shows Moisture is Main Ingredient for a Safe Christmas Tree

Once ignited, a dry Fraser fir, one of the most popular Christmas tree choices, bursts into flames in less than 7 seconds, and it will be consumed by fire in slightly more than a minute. But if a well-watered Fraser fir briefly ignites, the flame soon dies.

This experiment, videotaped by researchers at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), provides a stunning, visual lesson on why keeping one’s Christmas tree moist can be a matter of life-and-death importance.

Every holiday season, hundreds of homes catch fire when something as small as poor insulation on a Christmas tree light sparks or causes a small flame, which is what was simulated in the NIST video. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year holiday trees fires cause 210 home fires, injure and kill dozens and cause more than $13.3 million in property damage. The NFPA also reports that one in nine Christmas tree fires lead to a death.

NIST’s 90-second-long video, called “Dry Tree vs. High Moisture Tree Fire,” is a persuasive educational tool. The video shows the two Christmas tree tests side by side. The needles on the tree on the left are fully moist; the moisture content of the other tree’s needles is less than 10 percent. As the video begins, the trees are ignited with a small flaming source. By the end of the video, the well-watered tree stands tall and green, while the dry tree is a charred remnant.

The video has been shown on local and national television during the holiday season since its debut two years ago. “Every year it is picked up by many local television stations to remind people of the risks of fire during the holidays,” says Fire Fighting Technology Group Leader Dan Madrzykowski. In addition to seeing it on the NIST web site, hundreds of thousands of people have viewed the video on You Tube and the U.S. Fire Administration website as well as others.

Fire marshalls and fire service educators also use the DVD for fire safety training, Madrzykowski explained, adding that this and other tree fire videos also are used in online training classes. More than 21,000 of the DVDs have been distributed internationally.

The NIST “Fire Safety for the Holidays” website shows videos of earlier NIST experiments that tell similar stories. “Dry Scotch Pine Tree Fire” shows the damage a dry tree exposed to an open flame can cause in a lighted room full of furniture. All is ablaze until the room is in total darkness within 46 seconds.

Another educational video shows the striking difference a residential sprinkler system can make. The burning tree sets off the single room sprinkler in about 10 seconds and puts the tree fire out within three and one-half minutes. Unlike the other videos of fires in living rooms, none of the furniture catches fire, which would cause the fire to flashover and move throughout the house.

Evelyn Brown | Newswise Science News
Further information:

Further reports about: Christmas Christmas tree DVD FIRE NIST Tree Frog information technology moisture

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years
27.10.2016 | University of California - Los Angeles

nachricht 3-D-printed structures shrink when heated
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>