Health Tips: Holiday Decorating Safety
Each year, there are about 10,800 hospital emergency room visits caused by falls, shocks and cuts related to holiday decorating.
We’d like to help you avoid an ER visit this season, so keep these tips in mind:
- Keep matches, lighters and candles away from children. And never leave candles unattended. If you’re going out, the candles should go out too.
- Don’t use lighted candles on the tree or near other evergreen decorations
For the tree:
- If you use artificial trees, look for ones that are labeled “fire resistant.” This doesn’t mean they can’t catch on fire, but it does mean that if they do, the fire will be fairly easy to put out.
- If you’re getting a live tree, the needles should be hard to pull from the branches and they shouldn’t break when you bend them. The butt of the trunk should be sticky, and when you tap it on the ground, there shouldn’t be a lot of needles dropping.
- Don’t set the tree up near a fireplace or radiator. Keep the tree stand filled with water.
- Make sure any lights you buy, for inside or outside, have some kind of seal or stamp or other indication that they’ve been tested for safety by a recognized laboratory.
- Check your sets of lights, whether they’re new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or otherwise damaged wires.
- Don’t overload extension cords. Use no more than three sets of standard-size lights per cord.
- Make sure lights you use outside have been approved for outdoor use
- Turn off all lights when you go to bed and when you go out. The lights can short out and start a fire.
- Use flame-resistant or non-combustible materials for decorating a tree
- If there are small children in your home, avoid using decorations that are sharp or breakable.
- And finally, don’t put used gift wrapping in the fireplace. It can ignite and burn quickly, causing a flash fire.
Consumer Product Safety Commission.