The holidays are a special time of year and should not end in tragedy because of the extra hazards they present. Here is some advice on how to keep your family and your home safe this holiday season:
Decorative lights get used much less often than your everyday lights, and they need more care. Check that the fuses are the right type (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use).
- If bulbs blow, replace them.
- Don’t leave fairy lights on when you go out or when you go to sleep.
- Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper.
- Don’t overload sockets.
Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily.
- Don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
- Don’t put them immediately above or around the fireplace.
- Keep them away from candles.
Keep children away from light sets and electrical decorations. All lights present the risk of shock and other hazards for curious children. When you are stringing the lights on your tree, be careful how you place them. Keep all bulbs turned away from gifts and paper ornaments. Lights in windows can cause curtains and drapes to ignite.
Candles are a traditional and beautiful part of the season, but they are still a direct source of fire in your home. Keep candles a safe distance from other things. And remember that a flickering flame is a thing of fascination to little children. Keep candles out of their reach.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
- Always use non-flammable holders.
- Keep candles away from decorations and wrapping paper.
- Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can fill a room with fire and deadly gases rapidly. Keep your Christmas tree moist. Trees that are not kept moist can present very serious fire hazards. A dried out Christmas tree can be consumed by fire in less than thirty seconds. Take precautions when buying your Christmas tree. Trees with brown shedding needles should be rejected. If the tree looks green and fresh, take a long needle and bend it between your thumb and forefinger. If it snaps, the tree is too dry. Look for trees with needles that bend. When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows that the tree is dry. When you bring a tree home, cut about an inch off the bottom of its trunk. This will remove the dried end and allow the tree to absorb water. Make checkerboard cuts into the base at different angles to make a greater surface for water absorption. Always turn off lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave your home. A short circuit in any of this equipment could cause a fire. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Damaged insulation in lighting on a metallic tree could cause the entire tree to be charged with electricity. To avoid this danger, use colored spotlights above or beside a metal tree, never fastened onto it.
Selecting a Tree for Christmas
Caring for Your Tree
Disposing of Your Tree