Government Christmas safety video turns apocalyptic

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions against letting your happy holidays turn into a fiery hellscape.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
Enlarge Image

Merry Christmas. Water your tree.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Have you watered your Christmas tree lately? Better get on that. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has just posted its annual video highlighting holiday hazards, and this one focuses on dried-out trees. 

The video shows two similarly decorated rooms, one housing a watered tree and the other a dry tree. The safety experts set fires at the bases of the trees and watched as the room with the dry tree turned into an apocalyptic inferno. 

The watered tree held up very well to the onslaught, while its unfortunate kin did its best to cosplay as the Human Torch.

A fire crew on site put the fires out. "A dry Christmas tree burns faster than newspaper," the agency warned. 

Watch this: We ordered an Amazon Christmas tree!

The video comes from a demonstration performed during a CPSC safety press conference Thursday on the dangers of holiday decorating. "There are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the busy holiday season," said CPSC acting chairman Ann Marie Buerkle.

The CPSC recommends checking for tree freshness, looking for fire-resistant artificial trees and taking extra precautions with candles.

No holiday is safe from the CPSC's vision of festive horror. A more complete video from the press conference also shows how a Hanukkah menorah candle can set a curtain on fire. 

Fury from afar: NASA sees violent volcanoes from space

See all photos