LAFD: Do You Have a 'Killer' Christmas Tree?

Thursday, December 06, 2012 |

In light of fatal fires involving Christmas trees and holiday decorations in recent years, the Los Angeles Fire Department reminds you:

"It can take seven years to grow a Christmas tree... and seven seconds for it to become an inferno."

Along with caring properly for your Christmas tree by keeping it watered at all times and away from any heat source, the LAFD asks you to pay close attention to the video, so as to understand The Facts About Fire:

Fire is FAST!
There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. Most fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.
Fire is HOT!
Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees or more at eye level. Inhaling this super hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.
Fire is DARK!
Fire isn't bright, it's pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years.
Fire is DEADLY!
Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and extremely short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.
In the event of a fire, time is the biggest enemy and every second counts!

Escape first, then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room. Practice feeling your way out with your eyes closed.

Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke and try to keep your mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason; it may cost you your life!

Having functional smoke alarms and practicing your home escape plan will dramatically increase the chance that you and loved ones will survive what you hopefully now have learned - are the facts about fire.

The LAFD wishes you a joyous and *safe* holiday season!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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