Trees, lights and decorations: They are all what makes this season bright! But they also pose a fire hazard if proper care isn’t followed, according to experts at UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Center.
Consider these safety tips when you are decorating this holiday season:
- Place Christmas trees away from heat sources, such as radiators or fireplaces. If possible, place it near a smoke detector.
- Aluminum and metallic trees should not be decorated with lights. They may conduct electricity and cause electrocution.
- Use flame-resistant ornaments.
- Never decorate trees with unlit candles or other flammable decorations.
- Always inspect your lights before use for damage and frayed wires. Replace them with new ones even if there is just a little damage. Some retailers now offer trade-in credits toward new lights during the holiday season.
- Make sure lights are marked with the UL Seal (Underwriters Laboratories Inc., an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization).
- Always check indoor and outdoor wires, bulbs, electrical plugs and sockets before using.
- Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
- Do not run electrical cords under rugs or carpets. Cords can fray and cause a fire.
- Turn off holiday lights when leaving the house or going to bed.