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Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

For many people, this time of year means family, home time, warmth and twinkling candles. Those are all good things, as long as you go about it safely.  Whether you plan to stay home for your holidays or travel, take steps to be sure you keep your home safe and secure.

Each year the US averages 240 Christmas tree fires and 150 decorative light fires resulting in 21 deaths and over $25 million dollars in direct property damage. Don’t become another statistic and take these simple, but necessary steps outlined below. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/holiday.shtm


Holiday Lights

  • Use artificial lights (not candles) that have cool-burning bulbs approved by a testing lab.
  • Be sure any lights or cords used outside are designed for outside use.
  • Never use or attempt to repair a frayed or damage light set – toss it.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.
  • Don’t place extension cords under carpets or throw rugs.  The traffic can wear off the exterior of the cord and create a fire hazard.

Candles

  • Never use candles to decorate trees or wreaths.
  • Use sturdy candleholders that won’t easily tip.
  • Don’t place a candle in a window or near combustible materials.
  • When leaving the room, extinguish the candles burning.  Do Not leave burning overnight!

Christmas Trees

  • If buying a live tree, make sure it’s fresh.
  • Make a fresh cut across the base of the trunk right before you set it up to allow adequate water absorption.  Daily check the water in the dish the tree sits in to be sure there is enough.  Trees can absorb up to a gallon of water a day.
  • Keep the tree away from heat sources.  
  • If using an artificial tree, make sure it is made from flame retardant materials.

As you can see in the video posted, it takes just a few seconds for a room to become completely engulfed in fire when a tree ignites.  Take the time necessary to ensure your family time this season is SAFE and uneventful regarding fires!