Holiday Injury Statistics• During the two months around the holiday season more than 14,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries related to holiday decorating.
• Christmas trees are invoved in an average of 15 deaths and $13 million in property damage annually.
•. Candle related fires lead the list of hazards averaging more than 12,000 a year resulting in 150 deaths and $393 million in prperty damage.
Use These 8 Safety Tips When DecoratingTrees and Decorations
1. When purchasing an artifical tree, look for the "fire resistant" label. This sign indicates the tree is more resistant to catching fire, not that the tree will not catch fire.
2. When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry one. Remember:
• A fresh tree is green
• Fresh needles are hard to pull of the branches
• Fresh twigs will bend not break when handling them
• The trunk butt of a fresh tree wil be stick with resin
• If you bounce a tree trunk on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows the tree is too dry
3. When setting up your tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating a fire hazard.
• Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption.
• Trim away branches to fit the tree trunk in the base of a sturdy, water-holding stand. It should have wide spreading feet. Make sure the water holder is filled while the tree is inside.
• Place trees out of traffic thoroughfares and away from blocking doorways.
• Secure tall trees with guy-wires to walls or ceiling.
4. Use non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations, avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable; keep small parts out of the reach of children to avoid choking hazards, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food.
5. For both indoor or outdoor lighting, use only lights that have been tested for safety. They should have a label from an independent testing laboratory.
• Check each set of lights 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 tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and any person touching a branch could be electrocuted. Just use colored spotlights above or beside this type of tree, never fastened to it.
6. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
• Always use non-flammable holders
• Battery operated candles can provide the same ambiance as real ones
• Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper
• Place candles where they will not be knocked down or blown over
• Never burn candles near evergreens
7. Keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach of children
• Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area
• Keep a screen in front of the fireplace all the time a fire is burning
• Do not burn green boughs or freshly cut wood. Use well seasoned wood (cut at least a year).
• Avoid wearing loose flowing clothes near open flames
8. Make an emergency plan to use if a fire breaks out anywhere in the home. See that each family member knows what to do. Have regular "fire drills" at home.
Dave Reed and all our personnel wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.