The Holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year! The time with family, the food, the Christmas trees, the lights on the home, the feeling of joy and good will, the hope for a better new year and everything else the holiday season brings!
This time of year can also be tragic if you don’t take proper care of the tree, electronics and lights. The NFPA.org states that the winter months are the leading time of the year for home fires. It’s colder, we are using more heating devices and we are also decorating more.
Below are some tips from the NFPA and CPSP.gov to help you have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Christmas trees are a staple in the homes of many during the holiday season, whether they are artificial or real trees. When using an artificial tree, newer trees are usually fire resistant, to find out if your tree is, there should be a statement on the box or on a tag of the tree stating that it is fire resistant. Older trees are most likely not fire resistant, so take precautions that will be stated a little later on in this post.
If you are using a real tree this holiday season, then make sure that the tree you purchase is as fresh as it possibly can be. The fresher the tree the less of a chance for a fire to occur. When checking for the freshness of the tree, remember these tips:
- Fresh needles are hard to pull from the branches.
- Needles that are fresh do not break when bent.
- There should be a sticky resin that will be on the bottom of the trunk
- When needles fall off easily when bounced, the tree is too dry.
- The greener the tree, the fresher it is.
When setting the tree up in the house, keep the tree away from heat sources, such as fire places and radiators, especially a real tree as the heat will dry out the tree faster and older artificial trees as they might not be fire resistant.
For the real tree, cut about two inches away from the bottom of the tree, this will help it absorb water better. Make sure that you have stand that holds water and has a sturdy wide spread feet to hold the tree up. Make sure that you keep an eye on the water level to make sure that it has plenty during its time indoors. For those larger trees, use thin wires that secure to the walls to keep the tree from falling over. Following these safety steps can help keep the tree fresh and help prevent a fire from occurring so you can enjoy your tree all season long.
Decoration lights are a fantastic sight, especially when people get creative with their lay outs. They can also lead to fires as well. When purchasing lights, make sure that they are made for the use intended, if you need outdoor lights, make sure that they are outdoor or indoor/outdoor lights. Also make sure that they have been tested for safety. Check each light set to make sure that there are no broken/ cracked sockets, frayed/bare wires or loose connections. If you find any with these defects, discard or repair them before putting them up.
When placing lights outside, make sure that you have secured the lights against wind to prevent damage. Do not use more than three standard-size set of lights per a single extension cord, as it may over load and cause a fire. When heading to bed or leaving the home, never leave the lights on as they could short and start a fire.
If you have a metallic tree, never use electric lights as the tree could charge from faulty lights and any one that would happen to touch the lights, could get electrocuted.
If you would be using bubbling lights, do not let children near them as they could break them and ingest the liquid and get cut on the bulb.
For more information on how to have a safe and happy holiday season, please visit the following sites: