Are you accident prone? Turns out that you’re not alone…there are quite a few people who are especially during the holidays.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that approximately 15,000 people are seen every year for accidents related to holiday decorating during November and December! This includes falling off the roof while putting up lights, tripping on extra extension cords, candles that are left lit, cooking burns, and even Christmas tree fires.
We wouldn’t want you or your loved ones to spend the holidays covered in Band-Aids or singing carols in the ER, so here are some holiday safety tips to keep you free from danger this Christmas!
Heed the warning labels on ladders.
Trees and Decorations
Buying a live tree? Check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, its needles are hard to pull from branches, and the needles do not break when bent between your fingers. The bottom of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
Setting up a tree at home? Place it away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, vents, and radiators. Because heated rooms rapidly dry out live trees, be sure to monitor water levels daily, and keep the tree stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of foot traffic, and do not block doorways with the tree.
Buying an artificial tree? Look on the label for: “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean that the tree will not catch fire, the label does indicate that the tree is more resistant to catching fire.
Decorating a tree in a home with small children? Take special care to avoid sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children, who could swallow or inhale small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to reach for and swallow them.
Keep burning candles within sight. Extinguish all candles before you go to bed, leave the room, or leave the house.
Keep candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface. Place candles where kids and pets cannot reach them or knock them over. Lighted candles should be placed away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.
Use lights that have been tested. Select lights tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Lights for both indoor and outdoor use must meet strict requirements that testing laboratories are able to verify. Look for the UL logo on decorative lights available in stores.
Check each set of lights. Examine new and old lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets, and do not use electric lights on a metallic tree.
Check each extension cord. Make sure each extension cord is rated for the intended use and is in good condition. Do not use cords with cuts or signs of fraying.
Check outdoor lights for labels. Look for labels indicating that the lights have been certified for outdoor use, and only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
Use care with “fire salts.” Fire salts produce colored flames when thrown onto wood fires. Fire salts contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting, if swallowed. Keep fire salts away from children.
Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result from burning wrapping papers because wrappings can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
**Tips: Courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission