According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 8,700 people visit emergency rooms each year due to injuries related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Because of that they are urging people to do everything they can to eliminate those potential dangers in their homes.
In light of this, the CPSC has released some safety tips, a few of which we would like to pass along to you:
- When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean the tree won’t catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
- When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
- When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
- Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.
- Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
- Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
- Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
- In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
Having a beautifully-lit Christmas tree or glowing Menorah is important to many of you, but so is keeping your family safe. We hope you’ll take the proper precautions this holiday season so it remains full of joy and happiness!
Still looking for a gift for someone on your list? We’ have a few holiday gift ideas for you!