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Make it pretty – keep it safe.

December 3, 2015

june_russellEvery year, insurance agents across the country deal with claims involving home fires due to holiday decorations.  Most of these fires could have been avoided saving the homeowners from heartache and a lot of money.

Here are some great tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Click HERE for the full brochure!)

TREES

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, remember:

  • A fresh tree is green.
  • Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches.
  • When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break.
  • 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 Decoratingfalling needles shows that tree is too dry.

 LIGHTS

Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.

  • 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 fire.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree

CANDLES

  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
  • Always use non-flammable holders.
  • Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
  • Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.

TRIMMINGS

  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
  • Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair” to avoid irritation to eyes and skin.
  • Choose tinsel or artificial icicles or plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to: 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!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – UNPLUG! Please don’t leave your tree lights plugged in or any holiday decorations plugged in when you are sleeping or away from your home.  Shorts and accidents can happen and will cause a fire.  Even a well hydrated Christmas tree will go up in flames quickly.  Take a quick peek at this video  https://youtu.be/hMtjGfr0tYs

Happy safe decorating!

June Russell

jrussell@foundersgrp.com

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