The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 14,000 people each year are treated for injuries in an emergency room related to holiday decorating. Each year Christmas trees involve hundreds of fires resulting in an average of 15 deaths and $13 Million in property damage. Candle-related fires also average more than 12,000 fires a year causing 150 deaths and $393 Million in property damage.
The following are ten safety tips offered by the UPSC for holiday decorating to help keep your holiday safe for your family and home this year:
Trees and DecorationsKeep in mind, "Safety First" when putting up and maintaining holiday decorations. I wish each of you a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!_________________________________________
1. When purchasing an artificial tree, DO look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree is more resistant to catching fire.
2. When purchasing a live tree, DO check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and 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.
3. When setting up a tree at home, DO place it away from heat sources such as fireplaces, vents, and radiators. Because heated rooms dry out live trees rapidly, be sure to monitor water levels and keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic, and do not block doorways.
4. In homes with small children, DO 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, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
5. Indoors or outside, DO use only lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL/ITSNA.
6. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets. DON’T use electric lights on a metallic tree.
7. If using an extension cord, DO make sure it is rated for the intended use.
8. When using lights outdoors, DO check labels to be sure 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.
9. Keep burning candles within sight. DO extinguish all candles before you go to bed, leave the room or leave the house.
10. DO keep lighted candles away from items that can catch fire and burn easily, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.
CONTACT INFORMATION: If you or a family member have been injured or damaged due to the fault or responsibility of someone else, an industrial accident or by a dangerous or defective product, drug or toxic substance, contact Alan Morton for a no obligation, free consultation.
For additional information contact:
Alan L. Morton
MORTON LAW OFFICES, CHARTERED
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 [866.WIN.1.NOW]