Whether you are planning to string lights on a fresh Christmas tree, or decorating the fireplace with garland and ornaments, there are important things to keep in mind when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Winter holiday fires can be prevented with these safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Buying an artificial tree- be on the lookout for a statement specifying that it is “fire resistant”.
- A fresh tree will stay green longer and less of a fire hazard than a dry one. How to know if tree is still fresh:
*A fresh tree is a green tree.
*Fresh needles are hard to pull apart from branches.
*When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break.
*The trunk but of a fresh tree is sticky with resin.
* When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows that the tree is too dry.
- Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources.
- Place tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
- Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety.
- Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using
- Turn off all lights on trees or other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
- Always use non-flammable holders.
- Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
- Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
- Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
- Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of reach of children. Pieces could be swallowed or inhaled.
- Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food. A child could eat them!
- Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from the fireplace area. Check to see that flue is open.
- Keep a screen before the fireplace all the time a fire is burning.
To read the full publication on the Holiday Decoration Safety Tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, click here.
Be Safe and Enjoy the Holiday Season from all of us at Paroubek Insurance!