The holiday season is quickly approaching and it’s crucial to keep fire safety in mind.
If your decorating includes a live Christmas tree, there are some very important safety tips to keep in mind:
- When purchasing a tree, check for freshness. A dry tree is highly flammable. Use this test: hold a branch about six inches from the tip, and pull your hand toward the tip, allowing the branch to slip through your fingers. If the tree is fresh, very few green needles will come off. Also, lift the tree off the ground and tap the trunk on the ground. Again, very few needles should fall off.
- Always use a stand designed not to tip over, and prior to placing a tree in the stand, cut about six inches off the trunk of the tree and soak the base of the tree in a bucket of water overnight. The stand should be checked daily to make sure there’s plenty of water.
- Never place the tree or natural garland near a fireplace, furnace vents, television, or other heat sources.
- Buy lights labeled by a recognized testing laboratory and check annually for frayed or damaged cords. On Christmas trees, use small lights that stay cool to the touch or LED lights which also save energy.
- For outside decorations, use only outdoor lights. Never use indoor lights outside.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets with multiple plug adaptors or power taps. Use caution with extension cords; take care to make sure that they’re placed where they won’t trip anyone. Avoid running extension cords under carpets or rugs.
- Make sure all candles are a safe distance from the tree, curtains, furniture, and other flammable objects. Use large base candles or protect candles in a globe. Don’t leave candles unattended.
(WZQZ/Chattooga County Radio)