Follow these five steps to keep the holiday lights shining bright.
Selecting a Christmas tree:
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the words “flame resistant” on the label. If you choose to purchase 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, be sure to keep it well watered and away from radiators and fireplaces.
For indoor and outdoor decorating, 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 decorations that are sharp or breakable or ones that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.