SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- The Scarsdale Fire Department is offering tips to make sure residents stay safe during the holiday season. Tips were provided by Consumer Product Safety Commission to help families avoid tragic accidents during the holidays.
- Many artificial trees are fire resistant. If you buy one, look for a statement specifying this protection.
- A fresh real tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree.
- Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.
- Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption.
- Trim away branches as necessary to set tree trunk in the base of a sturdy, water-holding stand with wide spread feet.
- Keep the stand filled with water while the tree is indoors.
- Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. Use thin guy wires to secure a large tree to walls or ceiling.
- Artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled. To avoid injury, read container labels and follow directions carefully.
- Use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.
- Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.
Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
- Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
Keep "bubbling" lights away from children. These lights with their bright colors and bubbling movement can tempt curious children to break candle-shaped glass (which can cut) and attempt to drink liquid which contains a hazardous chemical.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders.
- Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper. Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
- Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that flue is open.
- Keep a screen in front of the fireplace all the time a fire is burning.
- Use care with "fire salts" which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals which can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation or vomiting if eaten. Keep away from children.