General Safety Rules
- Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of
- Avoid smoking near flammable decorations.
- Make an emergency plan to use if fire breaks out
anywhere in the home. See that each family member knows what to
do. PRACTICE THE PLAN!
- Avoid wearing loose flowing clothes, particularly long,
open sleeves, near open flames - such as those of a fireplace,
stove, or candlelit table.
- Never burn candles near evergreens. Burning evergreens
in the fireplace can also be hazardous. When dry, greens burn like
tinder. Flames can flare out of control, and send sparks flying
into a room, or up the chimney to ignite creosote deposits.
- Plan for safety. Remember, there is no substitute for
common sense. Look for, and eliminate, potential danger spots near
candles, fireplaces, trees, and/or electrical connections.
- Indoors or outside, only use lights that have been
tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent
- 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
- 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! To
avoid this danger, use colored spotlights above or beside a tree,
never fastened onto it!
- Keep bubbling lights away from children. These lights
with their bright colors and bubbling movement can tempt curious
children to break candle-shaped glass, which can cut, and attempt
to drink liquid, which contains a hazardous chemical.
- 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,
- A fresh tree is green.
- Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches.
- When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not
- 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
- 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.
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant
- Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass angel hair
to avoid irritation to eyes and skin.
- Choose tinsel or artificial icicles or plastic or
non-leaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by
- In homes with small children, take special care
- 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!