‘Tis the season to be safe!

On behalf of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC posted in Child Injury on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Christmas season is one adults and children look forward to with anticipation each year. The season comes with a few extra precautions, however, that if followed will help keep everyone safer and happier over the holidays.

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates approximately 240 home fires each year involve Christmas trees and another 150 blazes annually involve decorative lighting.

The fires result in about 20 deaths per year and more than $25 million in property damage, so there’s good reason for concern and caution.

Let’s take a look at some simple safety rules to establish and follow in your home regarding Christmas trees and lights.

Keep your tree watered: It’s simple advice handed out by every Christmas tree salesperson. For good reason, too: not only does water keep the tree looking fresh, but it helps make it much less likely that the tree will catch on fire if exposed to a short in your holiday lights, or an open flame from a match or lighter.

Fire safety experts urge people to keep trees away from heat sources (heating vents, fireplaces, etc.). The heat will dry out trees and a spark could ignite the needles.

Those same experts urge you to keep the tree stand filled with water and to not leave your tree up more than two weeks.

Electrical outlets and decorations: You are cautioned not to overload electrical outlets. Don’t put more than three light strings together, experts say.

Also, please check holiday light strings for exposed wires and cracked sockets.

Use nonflammable decorations on your tree and around your home. If you have young children in your home, it’s a good idea to decorate with unbreakable ornaments as well.

As with the Christmas tree, keep decorations away from heat sources.

Please check out the link to Christmas safety by clicking on the FEMA link below. And have a very merry and very safe holiday!

Source: FEMA, “Holiday and Christmas Tree Fire Safety Focus on Fire Safety,” December 19, 2012