Christmas Tree Safety
Consider purchasing an artificial tree because they are safer and cleaner.
- A real tree should not lose green needles when you tap it on the ground.
- Cut 1 inch off the trunk to help absorb water.
- Leave the tree outside until ready to decorate.
- The tree stand should hold at least 1 gallon of water and be the proper size for the tree base.
- A 6’ tree will use 1 gallon of water every two days.
- Mix a commercial preservative with the water.
- Check the water level every day.
- Secure the tree to prevent it from tipping.
- Keep the tree away from all flames and heat sources.
- Before decorating the tree, the first step should be to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions concerning installation and maintenance of the electrical decorations.
- Consider using miniature lights, which have cool-burning bulbs.
- Before plugging in newly purchased electrical decorations, or those you have used previously, carefully inspect each decoration. Cracked sockets, frayed, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious electric shock or start a fire.
- Always unplug a light string or electrical decoration before replacing light bulbs or fuses.
- Don’t mount or support light strings in any way that might damage the cord’s wire insulation.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions on your electrical decorations to determine the maximum number of decorative lights (light strings) and decorations that may be connected together. If the product packaging does not indicate the number of light strings that may be connected together, practice this rule of thumb: do not connect more than three light string sets together.
- Don’t overload extension cords - it could cause the cord to overheat and start a fire.
- Don’t allow children or pets to play with light strings or other electrical decorations. These decorations aren’t toys and could produce a deadly electric shock if they are misused.
- Turn off the Christmas lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
- Never use candles, even on artificial trees.
- Clean the tree stand to improve the tree’s water intake, use one capfull of bleach to a cup of water.
- Dispose of the tree properly and consider recycling your tree.
This is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. This year, buy batteries along with your Christmas tree, and on December 25, change your batteries.
Every home should have a smoke detector inside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as family rooms, living rooms, or dens.
Remember cooking vapors and steam sometimes set off a smoke detector. To correct this, try moving the detector away from the kitchen or bathroom. Cleaning your detector regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, may also help.
Plan your escape routes from the home. Know at least two ways out of each room. Go directly to a specified outside meeting place and then call the fire department. Once you’re out, stay out. Never return to a burning building.
After holiday parties, check around and under sofa and chair cushions for smoldering cigarettes. (Provide lots of ash trays during the party)
Have an operable fire extinguisher readily available.
Safety Gift Ideas
Consider putting together a gift basket containing one or more of the following items:
- Three smoke detectors and batteries.
- A quality fire extinguisher.
- A flashlight and batteries or light sticks.
- A first aid kit.
- A mobile phone.