At this time of year, we typically don’t think a lot about safety. We’re all too busy running around shopping and decorating our Santa Cruz County homes.
Have a fun, merry and safe holiday this year by implementing these 10 safety tips:
1. Never use lighted candles on a Christmas tree, whether it’s an artificial or live tree.
2. Purchase artificial trees with a Fire Resistant label. This label doesn’t mean the tree can’t catch fire; it means the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
3. Check for freshness when purchasing a live tree. Needles that are hard to pull away from branches and that do not break when bent indicate a fresh tree. Sticky resin on the tree’s trunk is another sign that a tree is still fresh. Old trees can be fire hazards in Santa Cruz County homes.
4. Chop a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. Water your tree regularly.
5. Avoid sharp or easily breakable decorations and small, removable items that children can swallow. Eliminate decorations that look like food or candy. Children may try to eat them.
6. Limit the number of standard-size light sets plugged into one extension cord to three.
7. Turn off all Christmas tree lights before you go to bed or leave your home. The lights could short out and start a fire.
8. Don’t burn wrapping papers in your Santa Cruz County home’s fireplace. A flash fire may result, as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
9. Remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from around the fireplace before lighting a fire.
10. Check labels on lights you’re planning to use outside to be sure they’re certified for outdoor use.
I hope you and your family have a very Merry (and safe) Christmas!