How to Holiday Decorate Without Causing a Fire
Here's a worthy goal for the holidays: avoiding setting the house on fire. Your kids will thank you, the fire department will thank you and so will your wallet. Well, actually it's quite unlikely that anyone will thank you for not starting a fire while you holiday decorate. To paraphrase Chris Rock, you're supposed to avoid fires you idiot!
Nevertheless, we all have our "doh!" moments, so it never hurts to heed a little holiday fire safety advice. Thankfully the Consumer Protection Safety Commission has created a Holiday Home Decorating Safety Guide. "Home decorating for the holidays is a wonderful tradition, and CPSC wants to ensure that this holiday season is a safe and happy one," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "To prevent a holiday tradition from becoming a holiday tragedy, keep lighted candles in sight, check trees for freshness, and don't use lights with broken sockets or frayed wire."
And now, on to the top ten list of safety tips for the holidays:
- Check your tree for freshness before buying.
- Old trees catch fire more easily.
- Set up your tree far away from heat sources.
- For artificial trees, look for a label that says "Fire Resistant."
- Take special care to avoid breakable decorations around children.
- Only use lights that have been tested for safety.
- Throw out damaged sets, such as with broken sockets.
- Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use.
- Only use outdoor lights when decorating outside.
- Keep burning candles in sight and extinguish before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep candles on a stable and heat-resistant surface.
Heed this advice and have a safe and happy holiday.
- CPSC's holiday tips website (PDF)
- Chest Freezer Recall: Fire Hazard (FindLaw's Common Law)
- Defective and Dangerous Products (FindLaw)
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