Christmas trees, lights, menorahs and other holiday decorations are unfortunately all potential fire hazards. Fires involving holiday decorations may occur as a result of electrical faults, candles left too close to flammable materials, live trees, or an item that has been incorrectly disposed. However, these fires can be prevented with careful planning and taking some very simple safety measures:
- Select an artificial Christmas tree that has a “Fire Resistant" label;
- If you opt for a real tree, select the freshest possible pine tree. One that is green and the needles are difficult to pull out and bend easily in between fingers. The trunk should be sticky with resin;
- Most of us use the same holiday decorations year after year; if you are purchasing new ornaments, make sure they are non-combustible or flame-resistant;
- Never light up candles on a Christmas tree. If you choose to use candles during holidays, remember to place them in a non-flammable holder in an area where it will not be knocked down;
- When deciding where to position the Christmas tree; keep them far away from fireplaces, radiators, portable heaters and doorways. Keep trees away from high traffic areas and clear of pathways;
- Remember to cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, which will help your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. Remember to water your tree on a regular basis;
- Whenever buying outdoor lights, check the package label to ensure they have been certified safe for outdoor use. Attach them tightly by using hooks or insulated staples. Do not use nails, tacks or other metal fasteners as these conduct electricity. Never pull or tug lights to remove them;
- Plug outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters. This will help avoid electric shocks;
- Every time you leave the house, make sure to turn off all holiday lights since they could short out and start a fire.
These are just a few safety holiday tips. Taking even just a few of these necessary precautions will ensure you have a safe and fun holiday with your family and friends.