Decorating adds cheer, and fun to the holiday season. When decorating this year, avoid common careless decorating habits that put you at risk of fire or electrical injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): “during the two months surrounding the holiday season, more than 14,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries related to holiday decorating. In addition, Christmas trees are involved in hundreds of fires resulting in an average of 15 deaths and $13 million dollars in property damage annually.”
Keep your Christmas Safe by avoiding these five common decorating mistakes:
1. Using cheap or poor quality live trees
When purchasing a live tree make sure the tree is fresh and in good condition. Trees should have a nice green color, needles should be difficult to bend or break, and the bottom of the tree should be sticky with resin. Avoid purchasing trees that are dried out and/or missing a lot of needles.
2. Using flammable artificial trees
If you decide to use an artificial tree, be sure to purchase the flame resistant trees. Although flame resistant trees can still catch fire, there is less of a risk.
3. Placing trees and/or decorations near heating appliances
Avoid placing trees or decorations near fireplaces, heaters, vents, or radiators. Your tree should be placed at least three feet away from these appliances, and should not block any doorways or exits.
4. Using the same lights for indoor and outdoor decorating
First and foremost, make sure you only use lights which have been tested for safety. Some lights can only be used indoors, while others may be used for both. “If you’re in doubt as to whether light strings are rated for indoor or outdoor use, just check the color-coded UL mark on the product’s package. A green holographic UL mark says, “indoors only, please,” while a red one indicates that the product is safe for both indoor and outdoor use” (cableorganizer.com).
5. Leaving candles burning all night
Candles should be closely monitored at all times, and should not be placed near any items that may be flammable (curtains, furniture, etc.). In addition, all candles should be extinguished before leaving your home or going to bed.
Don’t ruin your holiday by making a careless decorating mistake; make safety your top priority as you deck the halls this holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!