Fresh-cut Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations create a festive atmosphere during the holiday season. But Amica Insurance reminds everyone that many holiday decorations also pose safety hazards.
“Decorating for the holidays is a treasured tradition for many of us,” said Mike Gillerlane, a senior assistant vice president with Amica Insurance. “But it’s important to keep safety in mind, especially when dealing with fresh trees, candles and other combustibles.”
More than 130 people die each year as a result of fires caused by Christmas trees or candles, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Those fires also result in more than $375 million worth of property damage a year, according to the CPSC study from 2006 to 2008.
“A well-watered tree, carefully placed candles and carefully checked holiday light sets will prevent the joy of the holidays from turning into a trip to the emergency room or the loss of your home,” said Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the CPSC.
Here are some important safety reminders from Amica and the CPSC to help keep everyone safe this holiday season:
- Make sure Christmas trees are fresh before bringing them home. Fresh trees have needles that are hard to pull from branches and don’t break when bent between two fingers.
- Place the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces and radiators. Water the tree frequently, so that it doesn’t dry out and become a fire safety risk.
- Check all Christmas tree lights for cracks, frayed wires or loose connections. Dispose of damaged lights, and don’t use electric lights on metallic trees.
- Use candles sparingly and with supervision. When leaving the room or house, or just going to bed for the night, extinguish all candles.
- Put candles on heat-resistant surfaces that are out of reach of children or pets. Make sure candles are far away from Christmas trees, other decorations and curtains, which can all ignite and burn easily.
“Remember to use these tips and take care with your trees and other decorations,” Gillerlane said. “We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season.”