December 21st, 2012 | City

Fire Department plans to burn Christmas tree

On an average year, United States fire departments respond to roughly 230 home structure fires caused by Christmas trees. This year, the New Haven Fire Department has created an innovative solution to prevent these holiday-induced accidents caused by Christmas trees: Burn one.

On Friday at 10:30 a.m., the NHFD will set a Christmas tree on fire at the New Haven Fire Academy to demonstrate how quickly fire can spread through a home. In addition to the blazing tree, NHFD Chief Michael Grant will offer safety tips for Elm City residents on fire prevention and offer free smoke detectors to attendees.

“As everyone gets busier during the holidays, we often become rushed, distracted or tired,” Grant said in a press release. “That’s when home fires are more likely to occur. By igniting the tree in the demonstration, showing all residents how quickly fire can spread, we hope to save lives and prevent any further tragedies this season.”

So, wherever you are spending this holiday season — whether you’re about to leave the stove and go Christmas shopping or whether you risk electrocuting yourself with Christmas lights — may the image of a burning tree be enough to prevent you from facing the same fate as the Christmas tree in tomorrow’s demonstration.

Happy Holidays, Yale!