Friday, December 30, 2005

Fighting the Good Fight

One of the most frustrating things our industry faces is the way the news media scares consumers with stories about fires involving Christmas Trees. Often, news stories will report that a Christmas Tree “caused” a fire, when the simple fact is a plant can’t cause a fire. Fires are caused by heat, sparks, flames or electricity. A tree can get to the point where it is flammable and can be ignited, but so can most things in a home. The difference is none of those other things are news stories.

If someone is smoking in bed and their home burns down, do you blame the comforter? Just once I’d love to see a news story where the reporter says “We’ve had another comforter fire tonight...”

Often, the news media blames a Christmas tree when it’s not even the first item ignited in a home fire. Read this article the Deputy Fire Chief is quoted in the middle of article saying the fire was caused by a spark from the fireplace igniting an area rug. SO WHY IS THE HEADLINE “CHRISTMAS TREE FACILITATES SPREAD OF FIRE IN PLEASANTON HOME”????!!!??!!!!! Why isn’t the headline “Area Rug Facilitates Spread of Fire...”?????

The other thing that is frustrating is that people believe fake trees are flame proof because they have the words “flame retardant” on their boxes. The problem is, those are just words on a box. There is no testing lab or agency which publishes standards they must meet to use those words on their product. Just this week, a fake tree caught fire in hotel at Disneyland. Here’s a link to that story.

They should use a natural tree with a water stand next year.