Christmas ree Journal Spring Every holiday season the Christmas tree industry faces a barrage of media events where Christmas trees are lit on fir e PDF document

Christmas ree Journal Spring  Every holiday season the Christmas tree industry faces a barrage of media events where Christmas trees are lit on fir e PDF document

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Images of dry trees being torched on the five o57557clock news some demonstrations have been found using accelerants such as gaso line all in the name of fire safety For years the Christmas tree indus try has battled this sensationalized type of dem ID: 30790

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Presentations text content in Christmas ree Journal Spring Every holiday season the Christmas tree industry faces a barrage of media events where Christmas trees are lit on fir e


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Christmas ree Journal Spring 2005 Every holiday season, the Christmas tree industry faces a barrage of “media events” where Christmas trees are lit on fir e. Images of dry trees being torched on the five oclock news (some demonstrations have been found using accelerants such as gaso line) all in the name of “fire safety. For years, the Christmas tree indus- try has battled this sensationalized type of demonstration, and in November of 2004, the Michigan Christmas T ee Association had the opportunity to work with the Farmington Hills Fire Department in metr opolitan Detr oit in presenting a fair and accurate demon- stration of how Christmas trees react in a house fir e. Planned and coordinated by Denny Hughes and Michael OBrian of the Farmington Hills Fir Department, the demonstration featur ed a str uc ture with three rooms. Each room was set as a home may be during the holi days with carpet, upholster ed chair artwork, gifts and a Christmas tree. The only variable was the tr ee. In one oom they placed a r eal, well-car ed-for real tree. The second room included a eal tr ee that was dried and the final oom featur ed an artificial tree that was advertised as “flame retardant. In the demonstration, the depart- ment set a fir in the room. Typically the furniture caught on fire first, and the flames then moved to the tree. Each of the r ooms was allowed to “burn” for an equal length of time before the fires were extinguished. The result was very telling. The real tree that was dry burned fairly vigor ously The artificial tree did resist the flames for an amount of time, but when the room became hot enough, the entir tr ee was engulfed in flames and projected significant heat and toxic smoke. The well-cared- for r eal tr ee did r eceive some burn damage on the corner of the tree next to the burning chair, however after the demonstration, the majority of the tr ee was intact and looked much like it did before the demonstration started. The demonstration was held in conjunction with a meeting of the Metropolitan Detroit Fire Inspectors Association, wher MCT A Executive Dir ector Marsha Gray had the opportu nity to address the inspectors and share Christmas tr ee fir research and data. “I know that this demonstration made a real impact because the fire fighters and inspectors were surprised with the r esults” comments Gray. “We had the opportunity to discuss misconceptions and actually show the r esilience of a well-cared-for, real Christmas tree. Channel 4, the NBC affiliate in Detroit, WWJ News Talk Radio 950 in Detroit, and at least four cable access stations, also cover ed the demonstra tion. The Farmington Hills Fire Department, in conjunction with the Farmington Hills cable access devel oped a video that featured video footage of the demonstration along with an interview of Marsha Gray by Michael OBrien. The video will be distributed to civic and school groups and was also r un on the cable station. MCTA would like to extend a special thank you to Lou W aldock of W aldock Christmas T ee Farm in Howell for supplying the two real Christmas trees. Lou is a r etir ed fire fighter and was a tr emendous r esour ce for this demonstration. THE CHRISTMAS TREE FIRE MYTH crowd of fire inspectors and reporters watch the demonstration.
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Spring 2005 Christmas ree Journal 5 BEFORE DURING AFTER

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