Holiday Safety

Guidance for Grown-Ups. Menstuff® has gathered information on Holiday Safety.Also, see What to Look for When Choosing Toys for Kids.

Deck the Halls Safely This Season

Nothing expresses the warmth and spirit of the season like the glow of candles, but each year the holidays turn tragic for more than 11,000 families due to candle-related fires. These fires cause more than 1,200 injuries and 150 deaths each year, but officials say following some simple safety precautions can help protect your family from becoming a statistic.

"Sometimes people are having such a nice time during the holidays that they forget to extinguish candles," says U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Hal Stratton, in a news release. "Always put out lit candles before leaving a room or going to bed. Always keep burning candles within sight. Also, make sure your holiday lights bear the mark of a recognized testing lab to show they meet safety standards."

According to the CPSC, dried-out Christmas trees are also major fire hazards this time of year and are involved in about 300 fires annually.

CPSC officials recommend the following tips to make your holiday festive and safe:


If purchasing an artificial tree, look for a "Fire Resistant" label.

When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness by looking for green needles that do not break between your fingers and a trunk that is sticky with resin.

Place the tree away from any fireplaces or radiators, out of the way of traffic, and keep the stand filled with water if it's a live tree.


Use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.

Check each set (new or old) for broken wires or cracked sockets and throw out damaged sets.

Use no more than three sets of standard-size lights per extension cord.

Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree may become charged with electricity.

Before using lights outdoors, make sure they have been approved for outdoor use.

Turn off all lights before you leave your home or go to bed. The lights could short and cause a fire.


Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Use only non-flammable candle holders and place candles where they can't be knocked down.

If you have or will be hosting small children, avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep ornaments with small, removable parts or that resemble food out of the reach of children.

If using artificial snow sprays, follow directions carefully to avoid lung irritation.

If you have a fireplace, use caution when using "fire salts" that produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain metals that may cause irritation or vomiting if eaten and should be kept away from children. Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace because they may ignite suddenly and cause a flash fire.
Source: U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,{5FE84E90-BC77-4056-A91C-9531713CA348

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