A Holiday Safety Reminder From Us To You!
Here are a few tidbits of holiday savvy that we hope will save you loads of heartache as you shop for this year’s freshly cut tree. Keep in mind that we like freshly cut trees, but we also suggest that you consider a live tree and a synthetic one as well. No matter how often you have put up a tree it is important to quickly read this list. You don’t want to forget anything – do you?!?
- A real tree should not lose green needles when you tap it on the ground. As a matter of fact, you should hold it upright and slam the trunk on the ground. Loose needles mean the tree is already drying out. Not a good thing.
- Be sure to cut at least 1 inch off the trunk just before you put it into the tree stand. If you are distracted and don’t get it into the water within just a few minutes then make another slice. The cut begins to seal with sap almost immediately after it has been cut. This procedure will help the tree absorb water. A well watered tree will stay fresher longer.
- Leave the tree outside until you are ready to decorate. The air in your home is heated and will begin to dry the tree out.
- The tree stand that you use should hold at least 1 gallon of water. If you sliced off the bottom of the trunk and placed it in the water you will notice that the tree will absorb about a quart of water before you go to bed. A 6 foot tall tree will use about a gallon of water every two days.
- If you really want to keep your tree moist and safe add a commercial preservative with the water. And, make sure to check the water level every single day. If the water is completely absorbed and the stand goes dry the base of the tree will then seal up and watering after that point will not be as effective.
- If at all possible it is extremely wise to secure your tree with wire to keep it from tipping. The finest wire is all that is needed and normally won’t be seen by most people. High tensile fishing line also can be used.
- Keep your tree away from all sources of heat such as floor heaters and fire places.
- Any American who doesn’t use only UL-listed lights isn’t paying attention. The one thing you don’t want is an electrical fire. And please, don’t use more than 3 strands linked together — ever. Miniature lights, which have cool-burning bulbs, are safer to use because they won’t dry the tree out and they will save you money by using less energy.
- Turn off the Christmas lights before you go to bed, or if you leave your home. Even low voltage, low energy lights can start a fire.
- Never use candles, even on artificial trees. Raw flames are a definite no-no.
- Finally, dispose of your tree properly. Contact your local disposal company if you aren’t notified in advance of what to do.
When we suggested that candles should not be used in a Xmas tree we didn’t mean to suggest that they shouldn’t be used at all. In fact, we feel quite the opposite. Candles can be a great mantle or table decoration on a cold holiday evening. However, we do suggest a few precautions when working with – and enjoying – open flames – no matter where the flames originate:
- When using candles, place them a safe distance from combustibles.
- Be sure to mount candles in sturdy containers. Remember, hot wax burns kids, pets and you.
- Like Xmas tree lights it is absolutely necessary to extinguish candles prior to going to bed or before leaving the house.
- Don’t forget to stay on the ball when you use your fireplace. The ashes should always be put into a metal container until cold – ice cold!
- After parties, check around and under sofa and chair cushions for smoldering cigarettes. Better yet – ask your guests to smoke outside.
- It really is easy to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. The type that plug directly into the wall receptacle are the easiest to deal with.
- Most importantly, be sure to have a fire extinguisher ready and handy. Before the holiday season begins make sure that the pressure is up to snuff and that the date hasn’t expired.
Think safety outside too. Remember, water and electricity don’t mix.
- Use only outdoor lights outside your home. They may not be perfect but they are much safer than interior lights would be.
- Examine light strings each and every year. Look really close and discard the ones that are worn or tattered.
- Fasten each bulb securely and be sure to point each and every socket facing downward. This will help to avoid unnecessary moisture build up – short, short, short!
- Just like with indoor lights, never connect more than three strands of lights together and never use indoor extension cords outside – duuhh!
- It really is important to keep outdoor electrical connectors above ground and out of puddles and snow.
- And whatever you do, please remember to unplug the light string before replacing a bulb.
- Wrap a plastic bag around each electrical connection and tie the ends with Teflon tape. How’s that for a waterproof suggestion!?! You can’t be careful enough when connecting light strands.
For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener line any time at 1-800-737-2474! All you need to do is leave your name, telephone number and your question.
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