Holiday Decorating: Keeping Your Family & Home SafeBilly Pell
Are you hanging those stockings with care, teetering on the ladder to make sure your light display is the grandest in the neighborhood, and baking the tastiest cookies in the land? While holiday decorating and baking is all about adding fun, sparkle and warmth to a very special Season, it’s important to remember that many of our favorite activities carry the risk of fire or electrical injury if not done carefully. Holiday lights:
- Make sure your lights have been tested for safety – the Underwriters Laboratory sets the standards for indoor and outdoor lights.
- Before stringing, check for broken or loose bulbs – replace if necessary. While holiday lights look spectacular when strung together, it is unsafe to plug them all
- While holiday lights look spectacular when strung together, it is unsafe to plug them all on a single power strip. Three strands is the limit.
- Do not decorate an artificial tree that is made from metal with electric lights. A metal tree can become charged with electricity which can electrocute anyone who touches the tree. It can also make your lights short out which could lead to fire.
- Always turn off your lights at night or when leaving your home – this not only adds to the safety factor, it saves energy.
- If you choose to decorate your fireplace with wreaths and garland, do not plan on lighting a fire.
- Keep the tree and other decorations at least 4 feet from the fireplace.
- Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. Wrapping paper burns very quickly and embers can spread without warning.
- Select a tree that is fresh with needles that stay put in their branches.
- Fresh trees need to be watered every day to avoid drying out.
- Selecting an artificial tree – make sure it is marked fire resistant.
- Place a 4′ gap between your perfect tree and any heat source -candles, furnaces, fireplaces and vents.