Decorate Safely This Holiday

snowflake-decosf-fb-shutterstock_36738958-[Converted]Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.

Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” It can irritate your eyes and skin. A common substitute is non-flammable cotton.

When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow the directions carefully. These sprays can irritate your lungs if you inhale them.

Small children may think holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or cause severe stomach problems. Plants to be careful around are mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherries and amaryllis. Keep all of these plants out of children’s reach.

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When displaying a natural tree, cut about two inches off the trunk and place the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the tree well watered so it does not dry out quickly – dry branches can catch fire from the heat of light bulbs.

If you use an artificial tree, chose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.

Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.

Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments, or ones with small, detachable parts, on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.

Only use indoor lights indoors (and only olittle_girl_hanging_shutterstock_89288329utdoor lights outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.

Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.

Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.

When displaying outdoor lights, fasten them firmly to a secure support with insulated staples or hooks to avoid wind damage. Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground and away from puddles and snow.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Holiday Safety Tips.” For more information, please visit www.nsc.org.

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