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Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Shimmering Christmas lights make a Christmas tree sparkle and give warmth and joy during the holidays. Keep it that way by following these simple and easy safety steps this Christmas.

Choosing a Christmas Tree

A fresh evergreen tree in the house may bring a fragrant aroma, but its dry needles and branches also make it a fire hazard. Realistic-looking artificial Christmas trees are easy to install and have the added bonus of being made of flame-retardant materials. Look for artificial Christmas trees with PE or PVC branches, as these types of plastic resist catching fire. Despite being flame-retardant, artificial Christmas trees can still burn up if the flames are strong enough. For this reason, make sure to keep your tree away from heat sources like burning candles or the fireplace.

Artificial Christmas trees come in two types - unlit and prelit. Unlit Christmas trees do not come with Christmas lights, while prelit Christmas trees are professionally strung with multi-colored or plain lights. If you choose a prelit tree, make sure it has passed safety standards, which are tagged as “UL-rated”. This means that samples of these lights have been tested by Underwriters’ Lab and are considered safe. Make sure that the lights have an anti-twist mechanism in the bulb and socket.

Before walking away with your brand new tree, inspect the branches for any damage such as lose parts, broken pieces, and scratched electrical insulators or wire covers.

Picking the right place

Traditionally, Christmas trees are displayed in the living room, where there is enough space for everyone to gather around and open presents. Having enough space around your artificial Christmas tree ensures lower incidents of accidents.

Make sure that your tree is two to three feet away from the fireplace or any sources of heat such as radiators, heaters or hot air vents. Keep kids and pets away from extension cords and long wires by eliminating them! How to do that? By putting your Christmas tree near an electrical outlet.

Trimming and decorating your tree

Whatever tree you may have this Christmas, decorating it can be a challenge. Aside from making sure that it is a spectacle to behold, make certain that it is safe! When trimming your tree, use only flame-resistant or non-combustible materials, and keep the trimmings out of reach of children and pets. Make sure that your ornaments are not sharp, too heavy, breakable or with parts that may cause choking hazards.

Fill your home with joy, love and cheer this holiday season, but surround it with the embrace of safety for your family as well.

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