The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but the season requires careful planning and preparation to get everything right. These holiday safety tips will help you keep your family safe and cheerful this season.
Selecting a Christmas tree
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the words “flame resistant” on the label. If you choose to buy a live tree instead, look for fresh, green needles that are difficult to pull from branches and don’t snap when bent between your fingers. Once you get the tree in the house, keep it well watered and away from radiators and fireplaces.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than one of every four Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical fires. To protect your home from damage, only use lights that have been tested in a laboratory and explicitly indicate the safety standards on the packaging. Fasten lights securely to trees, house walls, and other firm supports to prevent wind damage. Be sure to turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. In addition to saving money on your electric bill, you reduce the chance that the lights could short out and cause a fire.
Candles should never be left unattended. If you use candles in your holiday decorating, consider battery-operated ones. If you want to use the real thing, keep burning candles within sight and extinguish them when you leave a room or head out of the house. Never place burning candles near anything flammable.
If you have small children at home, avoid sharp or breakable decorations, or ones that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.