This month, we are going to run through some important safety tips to ensure your holiday season is enjoyable. Our first post focuses on decorating safety.
- Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.
- Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” It can irritate your eyes and skin. A common substitute is non-flammable cotton.
- When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions carefully. These sprays can irritate your lungs if you inhale them.
- Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach problems. Plants to watch out for include: mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis. Keep all of these plants out of children's reach.
- When displaying a tree, cut off about two inches off the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
- Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
- Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.
- If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
- Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
- Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, so do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.
- Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.
- If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered to avoid dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs.
- When displaying outdoor lights, fasten them firmly to a secure support with insulated staples or hooks to avoid wind damage. Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow.
Disclaimer: Information and recommendations contained in this piece are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The National Safety Council makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances.