How Fast Does a Christmas Tree Burst Into Flames? About 9 Seconds

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There are only 22 days left till Christmas, and we’re prepared to spend at least half of them staring at this bizarrely compelling local-news footage of decorated trees going up in flames.

First eight seconds:

Earlier this week on WFMZ, an independent TV station based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a segment by reporter Alexandra Hogan asked, “How fast can a Christmas tree burn?” That question is never conclusively answered therein, but no matter. Watch, as within about 30 seconds, what was once a harmless assembly of ornaments and pine needles get swallowed by a full-on inferno.

12-19 seconds:

As it turns out, our favorite festive flora can be surprisingly deadly. One in 31 Christmas-tree-related fires result in a fatality, as opposed to just one in 144 house fires that don’t involve a tree, per the National Fire Protection Association.

If a raging fire isn’t quite the backdrop you had in mind for unwrapping gifts with the grandkids, you should select a fresh-cut tree, water it daily (dry trees burn faster than newspaper!), chop a quarter-inch off the trunk — to prevent sap from sealing off the pores — and keep the tree away from extension cords and other potential hazards. Not to burst your artificial bubble, but fake trees burn at the same speed, yet produce more heat than their natural counterparts.

22-27 seconds! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

Sit back, relax, and ring in the first weekend of December by watching the rapid demise of these terrifyingly flammable holiday staples. They’re like yule logs, but far more metal.

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Watch a Christmas Tree Burst Into Flames in 9 Seconds