Decking the Halls? 10 Safety Tips

Decorating your holiday tree is a time for festive family fun. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association, holiday trees, lights and candles increase the risk of home fires during the holidays, and Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day being the top three days for home candle fires. To help, the American Red Cross offers the following 10 tips.

– Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken. Don’t string too many strands of lights together—no more than three per extension cord.

If you are buying an artificial tree, look for the fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat.

– If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and water it to keep it fresh. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.

– If using older decorations, check their labels. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.

– When decorating outside, make sure decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.

– If using a ladder, be extra careful. Make sure to have good, stable placement and wear shoes that allow for good traction.

– Don’t use electric lights on metallic trees.

– Don’t forget to turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.

– Keep children, pets and decorations away from candles.

– If hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel, don’t light the fireplace.

Source: The American Red Cross