Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
“Holiday decorating plans do not normally include lacerations, falls and fires. Unfortunately, these hazards make an unwelcome appearance in the homes of thousands of consumers each year,” Consumer Product Safety Commission.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), reports of holiday-related injuries are on the rise. Statistics for the holiday months show that falls from ladders, lacerations from broken ornaments, and burns from light and candle fires are sending more and more people to emergency room each year. Holiday-related injuries led to an estimated:
- 10,000 ER visits in 2007
- 12,000 ER visits in 2008-2009
- 13,000 ER visits in 2010
Safety Tips for Trees and Decorations
- When buying live trees, check for freshness- a fresh tree is less flammable than a older, drier tree.
- Keep trees in the home away from heat sources like fireplaces, vents, and radiators.
- Make sure any artificial trees you buy have the label “Fire Resistant.”
- When decorating trees in homes with small children, take special care to avoid sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations.
Holiday Candle and Fireplace Safety
- Keep burning candles within sight and extinguish all candles before you go to bed, leave the room, or leave the house.
- Keep candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface where kids and pets cannot reach them or knock them over.
- Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if swallowed. Keep them away from children.
- Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
Safety Tips for Decorating with Lights
- Only use lights that have been tested for safety.
- Check strings of 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 to make sure it is rated for the intended use.
- Check outdoor lights for labels showing 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.
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