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Have Yourself a Fire-Retardant Christmas Tree

When imagining the stereotypical, picturesque Christmas card scene, there are obvious heightened hazards that elude to why Christmas is a hotbed time of year for house blazes. There’s the open fire in the middle of the room, chestnuts roasting and alcohol spills. Then there are those unpredictable Christmas lights. Whether you are recycling an artificial Christmas tree or investing in a living one, you can minimise these risks by installing a fire-retardant Christmas tree.

The same dangers ring true in industry. School trees have students’ paper decorations hanging precariously in hot rooms, whilst shop owners and office workers leave tree lights on overnight, in a last-ditch attempt to ignite intrigue from the passerby. A fire-retardant Christmas tree protects the centrepiece of any seasonal scene.

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Creating a fire-retardant Christmas tree

A fire retardant Christmas tree looks no different to a standard Christmas tree.

The tree is the major combustible. And that’s where we can help.

Whilst all the above are correct, it is the trees that burst into flames. The fire can spread astonishingly fast, with just a few inhalations of smoke rendering inhabitants unconscious.

Whilst it is not a legal requirement as such in the United Kingdom to protect your public or workplace tree, it is expected that decorative items must not be combustible. Whilst not mentioned in the British Standard wording, Christmas trees must fall under the same Fire Safety Code of Practice as indoor plants, likewise light fittings and curtains.

How to create living fire-retardant Christmas trees

First and foremost, a dry tree is a perilous tree. It should be watered regularly to avoid drying out prematurely and should be disposed of within four weeks of installation, else it becomes combustible. Resin on the bark should be sticky and can be cut at the bottom to prolong shelf life, like you would a bouquet of flowers. Increased amounts of needles dropping and browning of the tips are definite signs of drying. As the tree becomes more combustible over the advent period, you can re-apply our 500ml fire retardant liquid spray.

Fire-proofing artificial trees

It is often misconceived that an artificial tree bears less to little risk of bursting into flames. Many artificial trees are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is made pliable by the addition of lead and other chemicals.

According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), pre-lit trees are even more hazardous with elements such as mercury and chromium being found. You can find their full white paper on the issue here.

Case studies on both artificial trees and real fir trees, before any type of retardant was applied, found that a 2m high artificial tree reached 810°C in just over two minutes, whilst a living, medium dried 1.8m fir tree reached 1050°C in a staggering 38 seconds. With this in mind, fire retardant treatments were created for both Christmas trees and larger grottos.

Make sure you make your tree fire retardant

Rawlins Paints solutions

We at Rawlins Paints offer an extensive range of fire retardant paints. These are not to be confused with heat resistant paints, which facilitate high temperature items and surfaces such as exhausts and industrial pipes/chimneys to be painted.

If the tree in question is large, we would recommend applying the retardant treatment before constructing it. This will cut down on workload and avoid re-application.


Insurance vs Assurance

There have been some well documented insurance loopholes in the news as of late where people have fallen foul of not knowing their policy wording inside out. The most notable incident was where an attic space was not identified as an additional bedroom, costing a family their dream re-build after an unavoidable blaze.

Christmas trees and their lights are another debatable prospect. Should they have been switched off at night? Was the tree well-nurtured and kept in a non-flammable environment? Then there is the argument of whether presents under the tree is sensible and whether a claim is process-worthy.

Our help and advice promise

Christmas is a time where houses are full, offices parties held, and school assemblies are festive. We are here to help you achieve that peace of mind with our products, that will allow people to focus on the good tidings and let us handle your health and safety aspects.

Whether it be cheerful seasonal decor or year-round protection you require, we at Rawlins Paints are here to help you with your project as much as you desire. It could be a fire-retardant Christmas tree, or fire-resistant coatings for a timber floor. We can offer you full specification and guidance over the phone on 0113 245 5450. Alternatively, comment below and we will get back to you, or drop our technical team an email on [email protected]

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