We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Sadly there seems to be a few fires every season due to Christmas trees, but when one considers how many are sold, what are the odds, especially if one keeps the tree watered?
Having said that, I have burned dried out Christmas trees. The needles still being green but the tree having had no water for a month. With a tree like that, you can literally hold a match to it and the tree becomes an inferno in seconds. It is scary.
You can vitiate your anxiety about your tree being a "fiery death trap" by placing a handy-dandy cheerfully red painted fire extinguisher within easy reach. I do echo your worries, however, Bird Dog. Real fir trees do smell wonderful, however, and I miss them. But when we still did put up Christmas trees, they were artistic looking fakes, for the very reason your headline mentions.