If you have a real Christmas tree in your home, then you have one main job: Don’t let it burn down your house. Which is another way of saying water it often. That’s it. You can spray your indoor spruce with fake snow, strangle it with tinsel, or transform it into a race car track. Do whatever you want. Just Don’t. Let. It. Burn.
If you need another reason not to neglect your tree? Just check out the below video of a live burn. Posted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), it shows just how quickly a dry tree will erupt in flames.
The experiment, conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, shows that a dried out Christmas tree could engulf your house in less than a minute. A well-watered tree burns at a much slower rate. The NFPA does not offer an exact figure for that, but if you’ve ever tried to build a bonfire with wood after it’s rained, you probably get it.
The NFPA does, however, have a figure for how much property damage tree fires cost annually — a cool $16.2 million, not to mention deaths and injuries. And you know how much water costs? Absolutely nothing. (Uh-huh, say it again.) So water your tree, and water it often. Before the damn thing seals up and you have to get a new one. When in doubt, just ask “What would Clark Griswold do?” Then do the exact opposite.
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