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Christmas Decorating Safety Tips

 

Christmas Decorating Safety Tips

 

During the holiday season your home is likely to be full of people and it is in the excitement of the season that accidents can easily happen.  Follow these safety tips to help prevent your festivities from being cut short by a disaster.

 

If you are purchasing an artificial Christmas tree this year, look for the label "Fire Resistant." This does not mean the tree won’t catch on fire, but it does mean that the tree will resist burning and should it catch fire, will extinguish quickly.

 
If you are purchasing a live Christmas tree, check for freshness!  Needles are difficult to pull off of a fresh tree.  Lightly grasp one of the tree’s branches and pull forward to see if any of the needles easily detach from the tree branch. When you get your tree home, cut a few inches off the trunk to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
 

Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from fireplaces and radiators.  Heated rooms dry live trees out quickly, so be sure to keep the stand filled with water.   

 

Whether indoors or outside, always use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory that indicates conformance with safety standards.  Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or damaged sockets, bare wires, or bad connections.  If the string of lights appears to be damaged, discard them and purchase a new set.

 

Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.  Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
 
D
o not overload your electrical outlets!  It is safe practice to use three or less standard-size sets of lights per extension cord.

 It is a good idea to turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave your home. There is always the potential the lights could short and cause a fire. 
 
Christmas, dispose
of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home orW garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

 
With a little care and forward planning accidents can be avoided.  Protect your family and loved ones and have a safe and happy holiday season!

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