Holiday Decorations: Paper, Trimmings, Candles, and Lights

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When making paper decorations, look for materials labeled non-combustible or flame-resistant. Never place trimming near open flames or electrical connections. Remove all wrapping papers from tree and fireplace areas immediately after presents are opened. Do not burn papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Trimmings

Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials. Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair” to avoid irritation to eyes and skin. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles or plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.

In homes with small children, take special care to: Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children. Pieces could be swallowed or inhaled. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food. A child could eat them!

Candles

Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders. Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper. Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.

Lights

Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.

Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.

Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.

Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.

Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.

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

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