The Holidays are almost upon us, and if you have been to any department store, the sounds of Christmas are ringing out. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 400 homes are destroyed annually by causes related to Christmas tree fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission hospital emergency rooms treat over 12,900 people each year for injuries such as falls, cuts and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Before you put up the lights or cut down the tree, we wanted to provide you with a few safety reminders to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.
- Keep Christmas Trees Fresh; water regularly.
- Keep trees away from heat sources.
- Take Christmas trees down before January.
- Do not burn the trees in your fireplace.
- Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments, or ones with small detachable parts, on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.
- When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant”.
- Only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.
- Never string together more lights than are recommended by the manufacturer.
- Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use.
- Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
- Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
- If you use a timer for your outdoor lights, make sure it is rated for outside use.
- Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
- When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks, or other furniture.
- A straight or extension ladder should be placed one foot away from the surface it rests against for every four feet of ladder height.
- Use ladders with slip-resistant feet.
- Never stand on top two steps.