How to Trim a Tree Safely

Yesterday we posted some info from the US Fire Administration and Safe Kids USA on fire safety around the holidays.  Today we’re looking at what they have to say about trimming the Christmas tree:

If you decorate a tree, Safe Kids USA and the USFA recommend these precautions:

  • Never leave a lighted Christmas tree or other decorative lighting display unattended.
  • Inspect lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections, and broken sockets.
  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets and do not run an electrical cord under a rug.
  • Natural Christmas trees always involve some risk of fire. To minimize this risk, get a fresh tree and keep it watered at all times.
  • Do not put a live tree within three feet of a fireplace, space heater, radiator, or heat vent.
  • Do not burn Christmas tree branches, treated wood, or wrapping paper in a home fireplace.

Decorate with children in mind:

  • Do not put ornaments that have small parts or metal hooks, or look like food or candy, on the lower branches where small children can reach them.
  • Trim protruding branches at or below a child’s eye level
  • Keep lights out of reach.

Safe Kids USA offers these tips to prevent poisoning (take note of the berries for pets as well as kids!)

  • Keep alcohol (including baking extracts) out of reach
  • Do not leave alcoholic drinks unattended.
  • Color additives used in fireplace fires are a toxic product and should be stored out of reach.
  • Artificial snow can be harmful if inhaled, so use it in a well-vented space.
  • Mistletoe berries, Holly Berry and Jerusalem Cherry can be poisonous. If they are used in decorating, make sure children and pets cannot reach it.
  • In a poison emergency, call the national Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

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