Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat about 10,800 people
for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights,
decorations and Christmas trees. In addition, there are 11,000 candle-related
fires each year, resulting in 150 deaths and 1,200 injuries annually. Christmas
trees are involved in about 400 fires annually, resulting in 20 deaths, 70
injuries and an average of more than $15 million in property loss and damage.
Burning candles should never be left unattended. Keep all candles, matches and
lighters away from children.
- When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire
Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch
fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish
- When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green,
needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers,
needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin,
and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
- When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and
radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep
the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do
not block doorways.
For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor
electric lights and decorations into circuits
protected by ground fault
circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be
where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to
household circuits by a
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded
materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use
non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked
- 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 to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces,
and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to
- Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun
glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid
lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.
Holbrook Fire Department would like to Wish Everyone a Safe
and Happy Holiday Season.
Information gathered from The U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission.