Avoid a Holiday Hazard: WPI to Demonstrate Christmas Tree Safety with a Live Burn

Media Contact
November 21, 2016

On Tuesday, November 29, at 2:00 pm, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Fire Protection Engineering program will host a live fire demonstration to show just how quickly a dry Christmas tree can burn and spread flames throughout a room.

The event, held in WPI’s state-of-the-art fire research lab—the largest of its kind in academia— will feature a presentation that vividly shows the tremendous speed of the flames and the potential for destruction. WPI fire protection engineers and staff from the Worcester Fire Department will be available to provide interviews and additional information.

WHEN:          Tuesday, November 29, 2:00 pm       

WHERE:       WPI Gateway II, 50 Prescott Street, Worcester, MA

Due to space constraints and safety restrictions, reporters wishing to cover the event are required to contact Colleen Wamback at cbwamback@wpi.edu, 508-831-6775 or 508-688-4858 by Monday, November 28.

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) data for 2009-2013, each year there are an average of 210 Christmas tree-related home fires, resulting in seven deaths, 19 injuries, and some $17.5 million in property damage. Christmas tree fires are more deadly than other home fires: one in 31 Christmas-tree related fires resulted in a death, compared to one in 144 total reported home fires.

About WPI Fire Protection Engineering Program

Home to one of three fire protection engineering graduate programs in the country, WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering Department has driven more research, developed more real-world solutions, and graduated more in-demand experts in the last 30 years than any other university.

Our internationally renowned faculty members are recognized for cutting-edge research and teaching focused on making the world safer by tackling challenging questions about fire behavior and our response to it.