Deck the Halls: A Holiday Safety Checklist

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Deck the Halls:  A Holiday Safety Checklist

While you’re busy shopping for gifts, mulling your cider and setting cookies out for Santa, we know you have no time to worry about holiday home emergencies.  But when you mix Christmas trees and electric lights, or bring out candles and mistletoe, you should think twice about how safe your holiday decorations really are.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 14,000 people are treated in emergency rooms every year due to holiday decoration-related injuries.

Here’s a checklist that will keep your home safe for the season.

  1. Christmas Trees
    1. Make sure the real tree is FRESH – needles should be green and not break when bent
    2. Can also test freshness of tree by tapping tree on the ground – if it doesn’t lose many needles, it’s fresh
    3. Stand real tree away from heat sources (fireplaces, radiators, and air vents)
    4. Keep stand filled with water and trim low branches so they are out of reach of small children
    5. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s flame-retardant
  2. Lights
    1. Make sure lights (inside and outside) have been checked for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections
    2. Don’t plug more than 3 sets of lights per extension cord
    3. Turn all lights off before going to bed or leaving the house
  3. Tree Trimmings
    1. With small children, beware of ornaments that are sharp or breakable
      1. i.      Place above the reach of small children

A Few More Reminders:

— Keep candles away from all other decorations and never use them on a tree or near foliage

— If you have a fireplace, remove all decorations near before lighting a fire

— Greenery, such as mistletoe with berries, holly berry and Jerusalem cherry, can be poisonous, make sure to keep out of reach of children and pets

LivGreen Magazine 12/3/12