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Let Safety Rule The Holidays


We don’t want to spoil the fun, but the statistics on accidents relating to trees and decorations make for some unpleasant reading: 25 deaths and more than $100m   losses from candle-related fires every year, and 14,000 decoration-related injuries.

Here are a dozen tips from the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association:

  1. If you buy a live tree make sure it's fresh (needles hard to remove). Dried out trees catch fire more easily. 
  2. Don’t set up your tree near a fire or other heat source. Keep it in a water-filled stand and check it every day. 
  3. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it's labeled "fire resistant" –though be warned that doesn't mean it won't catch fire. 
  4. Avoid sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations if you have small children, and put trimmings with removable parts out of reach. 
  5. Keep lit candles within sight at all times -- and extinguish them before you go to bed. 
  6. Place candles on secure, heat-resistant surfaces, out of range from children and pets and away from furnishings. 
  7. Make sure your lights have a nationally-recognized testing accreditation – like the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo. 
  8. Whether new or old, check your lighting sets for broken or cracked sockets, exposed wires or loose connections. Dispose of  damaged sets. Don't use lights on a metallic tree. 
  9. Inspect any extension cord you use with your tree. Make sure it's okay for the intended use and don’t use damaged cords. 
  10. Check outdoor lights are approved and certified for use outside. Plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. 
  11. Take special care with "fire salts", which produce colored flames when thrown onto wood fires. Keep away from children. 
  12. Don’t throw wrapping paper onto the fire. It can ignite suddenly and burn intensely, increasing the risk of an accidental blaze.

 Read more December Newsletter Articles here >