Christmas Safety Tips

The Christmas holiday is the most wonderful time of the year.  You will admire your lighted tree, outside lights, staying toasty and warm by the fire, cooking and more. With all these distractions it is important that we keep our family safe during this and all holiday seasons.

Below are a few Christmas tips to help keep the holiday joy and stay away from holiday hazards:

Christmas Tree Safety Real and Artificial:

  • Keep your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources (fireplaces, radiators and heat vents) and do not block doorways.
  • Only use indoor lights-indoors and outside lights-outside. Replace lights that have been broken or have cracked sockets. Check for frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Always turn them off when going to bed and when leaving your home. It is also very important to choose the right latter when hanging lights.
  • For real trees always ask vendor to cut off 2” of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Make sure you choose a sturdy tree so that the tree wont tip over. Make sure there is always water in the tree stand, the drier the tree the more easily it can ignite.
  • If using a artificial tree make sure it is labeled “Fire or Flame Resistant”.
  • Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive. Hang breakable ornaments at top of the tree, this way your little ones will not be tempted to touch them and risk shattering your vintage ornament and the worry of broken glass.

Potential Fire-Starters:

  • Check and clean your fireplace and chimney at least once a year.
  • Never leave lit candles in a room unattended.  Keep them 12 inches away from surrounding objects.  Another option would be is to use flameless candles.
  • Only burn logs in your fireplace. Do not burn wrapping paper, it can contain metallic materials that can be hazardous to breath in. Don’t burn evergreens or wreaths in a fireplace or wood stove.  Tree needles and greenery burn faster then log and can create sparks which can fly into the room. Always use a fireplace screen.  Before you go to bed or leave your home make sure embers have cooled and fire is out. Place ashes in a metal bin and place 25 feet away from your home.
  • Prior to cooking you should clean oven before using it, have working smoke detectors and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Do not use deep fryers indoors.
  • Menorahs and Kinaras are available in with electric.  If you still prefer traditional candles keep them away from curtains, decorations and place on a non-flammable surface to catch the melting candle wax, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil.
  • Keep people in the kitchen to the bare minimum so as to avoid spills, slips, trips, burns or cuts.

Toys and Presents Safety:

  • Make sure when buying toys that you are reading the packaging thoroughly to ensure that they are age appropriate.
  • Keep an eye out for small parts that can cause a child a child to choke.
  • If you are giving a scooter, bicycle or skates also give safety gear to protect them when while they are enjoying their new toy.
  • If the toy requires batteries make sure they are locked in a child proof way.   Batteries can be a choking hazard and can cause burns as well.
  • Check CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION for any holiday toy safety and recalls.

Additional Resources:

National Fire Protection Association Christmas Tree Safety Tips

National Fire Protection Association Winter Holiday Safety

American Red Cross Home for the Holidays