flaming skeleton christmas tree
US Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warned people to water their Christmas trees in a grim tweet.
  • The viral tweet features a grotesque, flaming skeleton emerging from a Christmas tree. 
  • The agency said a dry tree burns faster than newspaper, and captioned the tweet with "soon."

As people begin setting up and decorating Christmas trees for the holiday season, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a grim — but hilarious warning — on Twitter. 

The agency posted an illustration of a nightmarish, flaming skeleton emerging from a Christmas tree accompanied by the text "Water your Christmas tree. A dry tree burns faster than newspaper."

The original tweet has tens of thousands of likes and thousands of retweets. 

"This is your CPSC holiday fire safety flaming skeleton walking out of a Christmas tree graphic, America," CPSC said in a follow-up tweet. 

Twitter users immediately got creative with the illustration, using it as a jumping-off point for jokes and memes. 

"r u sending a skeleton to try to burn down my tree, fed?" one user replied.

"what if I WANT to meet the burning christmas skeleton," another said. 

The PSA's popularity highlights an important issue — on average there are around 100 Christmas tree fires and 1,100 candle fires that cause 20 deaths, 160 injuries, and $50 million in property damage every year, according to a CPSC report.  

Some ways to prevent a tree-related fire include giving your tree enough water, keeping burning or flammable items away from the tree, and throwing away broken and frayed lights. 

And if you're getting an artificial Christmas tree, you should buy one with a label saying "Fire Resistant."

"Thanks for helping us get this message out there, everyone," CPSC said in a follow-up tweet. "NASA has to send things into space to get this kind of attention. You all are the best."

The agency didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

CPSC also tweeted a follow-up reply reminding people to keep an eye on their Thanksgiving meals as they cook. 

"There are more home fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires, so stand by your pan," the agency said. 

Read the original article on Business Insider