Safety Sense

Safety Sense: Deck the Halls With Care

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 3,000 people made emergency room visits last year due to electrical decoration mishaps.

When decorating your home this holiday season, please follow these tips and precautions:

1. When purchasing live or cut greenery, carefully inspect the needles. If they’re brown or break easily, the greenery isn’t fresh and poses a greater fire risk.

2. Place your tree in a sturdy, non-tip stand filled with water at all times.

3. With artificial trees or greens, purchase those that are flame-retardant. Do not use electrical decorations or light strands on artificial trees or greens that have metallic needles, leaves, or branch coverings.

4. Place your tree or greens at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources.

5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions concerning installation and maintenance of the electrical decorations you’ll be using.

6. Inspect each electrical decoration before use for cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections, which may cause a serious electric shock or start a fire. Replace damaged items with new, Underwriters Laboratory-approved decorations.

7. Don’t overload extension cords or connect more than three light-string sets together — they could cause the cord to overheat and start a fire.

8. Don’t allow children or pets to play with light strings, candle lights or other electrical decorations.

9. Turn off all electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.


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