It’s the most wonderful time of year, but it is also a time that comes with increased household hazards. Follow the tips below from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and others to keep your family safe all year long.
- Artificial trees are often built to be fire resistant. If you are buying a new one, look for a statement specifying this protection.
- When buying natural Christmas trees, look for a fresh tree, which will stay greener longer and pose less fire risk than a dry tree. For more information, check out these selection tips from the National Christmas Tree Association.
- Place trees away from fireplaces and other heat sources. Heating causes trees to dry out more quickly.
- Cut off two inches of trunk for better water absorption and water live trees daily.
- Use only lights that have been tested for safety and bear a standard from a nationally recognized testing lab.
Consider using LED lights: they produce less heat and are more energy efficient.
- When decorating outdoor spaces, use only lights rated for outdoor use and fasten strands securely to prevent wind damage.
- Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
- Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.
Fire and Candles
- Before lighting any fire, remove all decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
- Always leave a fire screen in front of an open fire.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
- Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
- Place candles where they cannot be knocked over.
Other Safety Tips
- Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of children.
- Plan for safety. Remember, there is no substitute for common sense. Look for and eliminate potential danger spots near candles, fireplaces, trees, and/or electrical connections.
- Artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled. To avoid injury, read container labels; follow directions carefully.