O Tannenbomb: Water Your Tree to Avoid Unwanted Holiday Lighting Displays

Minitab Blog Editor 12 December, 2016

It's that time of year again. The time when eggs get nogged, pudding gets figgy, and it becomes socially acceptable to speak in rhyme. So on that note, and with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, I bring you this timely and heartfelt PSA. Enjoy.

Twas the week before Christmas, and I couldn't be bothered,
to make sure that our tree, had quite enough water.
"A sprinkling of needles on the carpet, I say,
lends an aura of forest to our yuletide feng shui!"

When what to my web browsing eyes should appear,
but a horrific video, one that filled me with fear.
Twas created, to warn folks across this great nation,
by the National Fire Protection Association.

A public service message, in which one will learn,
that if your tree is too dry, it's more likely to burn.
And like a forest long parched by a hot summer drought,
once that sucker's ablaze, it's mighty hard to put out.

Alarmed though I was, it did ease my mind,
to know that such fires, are on the decline.
In the spirit of the season, I felt I should share,
So I created these graphs in Minitab Statistical Software.

And here, in this time series plot is the proof,
that over years, such fires have been greatly reduced.
And along with those fires, it feels good to tell,
the number of injuries has gone down as well.

Time series plot of fires and damage

Good news, tis true, fires are now better managed.
Alas the same tisn't true for property damage.
The red in this next graph, is what to review,
to confirm that over time, damage amounts grew.

Area graph of fire damage and inflation adjustment

But red alone is misleading, and you'll see what I mean,
if you adjust for inflation, as I did here in green.
The green and red, taken together here show
For the same damage today, how much money you'd owe.

So avoid the whole mess, and resolve to hydrate,
all conifers dwelling within your estate.
"Water your tree," once more I will prod,
"to avoid an emergency call to the tannen-bomb squad."

Wishing You and Yours a Safe and Happy Holiday Season