HAPPIER HOLIDAYS

AMERICAN INGENUITY is alive and well. Consider Richard Cawley, who had the misfortune eight years ago to watch his house burn down after his Christmas tree caught fire.

Mr. Cawley, a master electrician, decided to do something about it. As Reuters reported recently, Mr. Cawley invented a device that automatically detects Christmas tree fires by using a heat detector hidden under the tree's branches. The main Tree Safe unit is disguised as a Christmas present and sits under the tree; a sprayer at the top of the tree disperses a chemical fire suppressant, which can be vacuumed up later.Says Mr. Cawley: "Think about it: We take a dying tree into our homes, wrap 120 volts of electricity around it, and then plant that incendiary device in water."

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