It is that time of the year as people decorate for Christmas their homes and yards. It is also a time of year when we read about fires and other accidents related to these decorations. So in the spirit of safety, we present you with some safety tips.

Where the tree is concerned, many artificial ones are fire resistant. Look for a statement specifying this protection. If you’re buying a real tree, remember a fresh one is much less likely to be a fire hazard. Some things you may look for in a fresh tree are:

  • Needles are difficult to pull from the tree
  • When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break
  • The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin

Be sure to place your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, which is the main reason to make sure your tree gets plenty of water.

Of course, lights, whether indoor or outside should have a tag that says they’ve been tested before being packaged. Before hanging them, make sure you do your own check and replace any burned out or broken bulbs. It is recommended that you use no more than three standard strings of lights per each extension cord.

As far as decorations go – look for materials that are labeled non-combustible or flame retardant when making paper decorations, such as snowflakes, which children enjoy making. If you have small children, place breakable ornaments higher up on the tree. And if you’re using angel hair, wear gloves to protect your skin and eyes.

On Christmas morning, it may be tempting to throw wrapping paper into your fireplace as gifts are opened; this is not a good idea. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn rapidly.

Keep your family safe this holiday season; plan for safety. And remember, there is no substitute for common sense.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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