In The News
Keeping your holidays safe
It's that time of year again. We'll all probably see the local TV news team do a Christmas Tree fire story. It'll show a dramatic image of a tree burning and the reporter will say with consternation, "If you get a Real Christmas Tree, this could happen to you….blah blah blah.”
Watching those stories every year, I can only wonder at the ethical standards of the TV station. This is clearly an example of sensational and misleading journalism. While I applaud efforts to teach people how to properly care for their farm-grown Christmas Tree and warn people about potential fire hazards, journalists have a responsibility to get the facts right.
A natural tree, especially a tree that is kept watered, is extremely difficult to ignite from an accidental ignition source found in a home. In fact, newspapers, magazines, boxes, bags and drapes are far more likely to be involved in a fire, but mentioning these before natural trees would still “miss the mark.” Media focus should be on the source of the fire in the first place. Educating the public about unattended or poorly placed candles, overloaded circuits and faulty wiring should be your priority. A cut Christmas Tree has NEVER, ever, ever in history CAUSED a fire. Fires are caused by sparks, flames, heat or chemical reactions. A plant (which is what a Christmas Tree is) can NOT cause a fire.
According to published reports of the National Fire Protection Association, a confirmed average of 111 fires per year in the U.S. were ones in which a cut tree was the first item ignited in a residential fire. During the same period of the report, an average of 28 million cut Christmas Trees were displayed. Divide 111 by 28 million. You get 0.0000039. Or 0.0004% rounded up. But watching local news reports on the topic, one would think it happened all the time.
Another item in the NFPA report you might find interesting is that fire officials state clearly that artificial trees also catch on fire every year. There is no testing lab or standards for those products to meet in order to print the words "flame retardant" on their packaging. They're really just words on a box. Fake trees catch on fire every year. Not very many, just like farm-grown trees. However, according to the NFPA report, 28% confirmed residential fires where a Christmas tree was the first item ignited involved a fake tree.
I hope these journalists realize just how erroneous and misleading and dramatized their stories like this are, and how scaring people with dramatic images of trees burning doesn't help to constructively provide tree care tips. It only hurts local farmers who grow the trees. Media stories that exaggerate the danger of a consumer item – or worse yet media stories that intentionally fake an event such as pouring gasoline over a Real Christmas Tree to demonstrate its flammability – can influence consumer behavior in a way that is unfair and unfortunate. It is journalistic sensationalism and does a disservice to the public and the product. Don't think they fake it? Just a few years ago, on The Tonight Show, Jay Leno showed a clip of a fireman pouring four gallons of gas on a tree just prior to doing one of those "this could happen to you" Christmas Tree fire stories for local TV news.
My hope is that consumers are not fooled by unethical media who show these news reports. You can get the facts, including proper tree care practices, at www.realchristmastrees.org Have a safe and Merry Christmas.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Don’t Just Grab a Christmas Tree And Go, Make Memories
Tree Towne’s Christmas Tree Experience Has Been Part of Local Family Tradition for Over 30 Years
West Palm Beach, FL – November 20th, 2015 - Tree Towne has been selling real, fresh Christmas Trees in the South Florida community for 32 years now. This family owned business wants you to know that they are more than just another lot filled with pre-cut trees; Tree Towne is built to be an enjoyable family experience.
This year, the 5 Tree Towne Christmas tree lots will have several opportunities for fun holiday photos, with antique sleighs, face cut-out boards, reindeer and of course plenty of Christmas trees. After you’ve taken your pictures and want to start tree shopping, your kids can hang out in Holiday Play Land where they can spin on a merry-go-round, listen to Christmas music and make Christmas tree crafts. With the kids occupied you can focus on finding the perfect tree while they are safe and entertained. When you’re all ready to go home, at checkout, Tree Towne is offering their 2014 annual Christmas Mug for free with all purchases over $30.
After taking your tree home, Tree Towne assures that you have just bought the freshest Christmas tree possible. The 2014 growing season offered plenty of rain, helping the trees to grow strong and healthy. The Tree Towne owner and his kids have made it their family tradition to travel and personally select every tree, which guarantees freshness that will last the whole Holiday season, even if you buy it in November. Since Tree Towne gets their Christmas trees from small farms in North Carolina, Michigan and Oregon, they are able to wait until the last minute to cut the trees, whereas larger farms that provide to chain stores have to cut earlier to meet the demand.
Tree Towne is opening 5 locations this year throughout South Florida, from Boynton Beach to Jensen Beach. In addition to 7 varieties of Christmas trees, all lots also have accessories such as wreaths, garlands and other Christmas décor. Locations can be found on their website. Lots open November 24th, so if you’d like to get a tree early you can go on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday or Small Business Saturday. Every location is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm through Christmas Eve.
For the first time, Tree Towne is having an Instagram Christmas tree decorating contest. The winner will take home a cash prize as well as 4 tickets and ride wristbands to The South Florida Fair. Ask at the register for details on how to enter, or find @VisitOurTowne on Instagram.
If you’re unsure if a real Christmas tree is right for you, you can read the benefits on the Tree Towne website www.treetowne.com/real-trees.
Tree Towne Christmas Trees