Holiday Decorations are Beautiful, Festive…and Dangerous
Everyone loves holiday decorations! The lights, the candles, the paper and the greenery all add to the spirit of the season. But holiday decorations can also pose some serious risks to our homes if we are not careful.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns of the dangers of holiday decorations, and what we can do to minimize the risk. Here are just a few of their holiday decoration safety tips.
- Never use lighted candles to decorate a Christmas tree or near any other evergreens or flammable materials.
- Make sure all candleholders are non-flammable.
- Place candles out of the reach of children and pets, and where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
Christmas Tree Trimmings
- Use non-combustible or flame resistant tree trimmings.
- Avoid decorations that are sharp and breakable, especially if you have small children.
- Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children.
- Avoid trimmings that might resemble candy or food that could entice a child to eat them.
- If you have an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as fire resistant.
- If you have a natural tree, make sure it is fresh. Look for needles that are hard to pull from the branches, and a trunk end that is sticky with resin.
- When the trunk of the tree is bounced on the ground, few needles should fall off.
- Place your Christmas tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat.
- Cut off about two inches of the trunk before placing the tree in the tree stand. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
- Place the tree out of traffic and do not block doorways.
- Use only lights that are labeled as having 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 light sets.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely to avoid wind damage.
- Use no more than three strands of lights per single extension cord.
- Turn off all lights and other electric powered decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
General Holiday Safety Tips
- Keep all matches, lighters and candles out of reach of children.
- Avoid smoking near flammable decorations.
- Prepare an emergency plan to use if a fire breaks out anywhere in your house. Make sure every family member knows what to do, and practice.
- Avoid wearing loose, flowing clothes near open flames.
- Never burn candles near evergreens, and do not burn evergreens in your fireplace. Dry greens can burn like tinder, causing flames to get out of control and sparks to fly into the room or up the chimney igniting creosote.
We should all think about and plan for safety during the holiday season so that our plans for a wonderful time with family and friends do not go up in smoke.
Clark-Mortenson Insurance wishes you and your loved ones a happy and safe Holiday season. Please give us a call today at 877-352-2121, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if we can assist you in any way.