Holiday Decoration Safety: Start With The Tree

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Many artificial trees are fire resistant. If you buy one, look for a statement specifying this protection.

A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To check for freshness, remember:

A fresh tree is green.

Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches.

When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break.

The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin.

When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows that tree is too dry.

Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.

Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Trim away branches as necessary to set tree trunk in the base of a sturdy, water-holding stand with wide spread feet. Keep the stand filled with water while the tree is indoors.

Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. Use thin guy-wires to secure a large tree to walls or ceiling. These wires are almost invisible.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Holiday Decoration Safety Tips.” For more information, please visit www.cpsc.gov.

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