Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Emphasize Safety When Decorating for Christmas

treeUS (12/9/13) - Decking the halls for Christmas is a beloved tradition for many families. A home's exterior festooned with lights help create a festive holiday mood, while stockings hung by the chimney and a Christmas tree in the living room bring that Christmas cheer inside.

Though the season is a festive time of year, it can quickly turn tragic if revelers do not emphasize safety when decorating their homes. When decorating this Christmas, be sure to employ the following precautions so your Christmas is festive, decorative and safe.

* Exercise extreme caution with lights. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, 150 home fires per year begin with Christmas lights and other decorative lighting. Such fires may start because of frayed or bare wires, broken or cracked sockets or even loose connections. It's important that men and women be especially careful when decorating their homes with Christmas lights, inspecting each set of lights for damage and discarding any damaged sets. When choosing lights, use only lights that have been certified for outdoor use on your home's exterior, and never use outdoor lights inside.

* Purchase the right Christmas tree. The Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that Christmas trees are involved in hundreds of fires causing an average of 15 deaths each year. In addition, such fires cause an average of $13 million in property damage annually. Though it can be tempting to purchase the most eye-catching Christmas tree you find, avoid acting rashly until you have learned a little about the tree. Artificial trees should be labeled as "Fire Resistant." Such trees can still catch fire, but they are more resistant to fire than trees without such labels. When buying a live tree, make sure the tree is fresh. The tree should be green, and its needles should be difficult to pull off of branches, which should not be easily breakable. Tap the tree on the ground before purchasing it. If the tree loses a lot of needles upon tapping the ground, it isn't fresh. Trees that aren't fresh are more susceptible to going up in flames.

* Keep the tree away from heat sources. Though it might seem more idyllic to place your Christmas tree next to the fireplace, it's a lot more dangerous as well. When choosing a spot for your tree, find a place that is away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators and vents. But homeowners also should know that even trees placed away from heat sources can still dry out, creating a fire hazard even if the tree was fresh and healthy when purchased. That's because Christmas trees can quickly dry out in heated rooms. Monitor the tree's water levels every day, checking those levels in both the morning and at night before going to bed. This prevents the tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard, and it also helps the tree maintain its aesthetic appeal through the Christmas season.

* Limit use of candles. Like Christmas trees, candles are a popular yet potentially hazardous decorative item during the Christmas season. When decorating with candles, be sure that all candles are extinguished before leaving a room and never leave them burning when you go to bed. Candles should be kept away from any decorative items, including Christmas trees, that can catch fire. Never place candles near curtains, furniture or presents. Christmas enthusiasts with little children or pets at home might want to decorate with fake LED-light candles instead of traditional candles. Curious kids or excitable pets may not recognize the potential dangers of lit candles and, as a result, might burn themselves or tips candles over.

The Christmas season is upon us, and that means scores of celebrants will be decking their halls. Though festive decorations are a part of the season, safety should always come first.

SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 21, 2014 6334

Muhlenberg Task Force on Trail of Home…

in News by Wes Miller
August 20, 2014 4112

Park Avenue Trespass Call Leads to…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 19, 2014 3786

Free Arthritis Exercise Program will be…

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 19, 2014 3693

Municipal Art Collection on Exhibit at…

in News by Mary Bryan Hood
August 19, 2014 3686

'Another One Bites the 'Duct'

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 20, 2014 4112

Park Avenue Trespass Call Leads to…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 21, 2014 2123

Pedestrian Struck on East Arch Street,…

in Top Stories by Officer Ryan Clark
August 20, 2014 2070

Dawson Springs Woman Arrested for Driving…

in Top Stories by SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 1510

Madisonville Firefighters Recognized for…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 20, 2014 1290

Theft at Pennyrile Park Apartments Leads…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 19, 2014 3786

Free Arthritis Exercise Program will be…

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 19, 2014 3693

Municipal Art Collection on Exhibit at…

in News by Mary Bryan Hood
August 19, 2014 1934

Owensboro Police Department to Host…

in News by Michael Hathaway
August 19, 2014 1310

‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign…

in News by Officer Michael Hathaway
August 20, 2014 1261

OCTC Faculty Earns National Honor

in News by Bernie Hale

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 19, 2014 3686

'Another One Bites the 'Duct'

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 19, 2014 3197

Drakesboro Woman Injured When Tree Falls…

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
August 21, 2014 2203

UPDATE: Injuries Sustained in Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 20, 2014 2055

Deterioration of Caney Station Cemetery…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 19, 2014 1910

Central City Lions Club Charity Auction…

in Top Stories by Dean Rowe

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06