Left edge of tabStaying Safe During the Christmas HolidayRight edge of tab

Christmas trees are involved in about 500 fires each year, totalling an average of $20,000,000 in property loss and damage. There are a lot of things that a person can do to minimize the risk involved with Christmas tree fires:

Make sure your tree is fresh:
The tree's needles should be green, not brown or rust-colored.
The tree's trunk should be sticky with resin
The needles should not break when when bent between fingers
Keep the tree watered. A dry tree, when bounced on the ground, will release a shower of needles. Fresh trees will not lose their needles.
When lighting your tree:
Make sure the lights, extension cords, flood lamps, etc used are certified for the conditions in which you will be using them.
Make sure to check all of your lights for broken or cracked bulbs and sockets. Also look for frayed or bare wires or loose connections.
Follow all manufacturer's instructions and safety cautions when installing lights or anyother electrical item.
Do not put more than three (3) standard-size sets of lights on a single extension cord.
Turn off all tree lights and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
Do not use lighted candles or other open flames on or near your Christmas tree, wreath or other flammable objects.
Do not use electric lights on a metallic tree.
Faulty lights can actually electrically charge a Christmas tree. When using high-wattage lights, it is best to place the lights above or beside a tree and not directly on it in order to prevent people from being electrocuted when touching branches.
When decorating:
Wear gloves to protect hands from irritation when decorating with spin glass.
Try to avoid decorations that look like or smell like real food. Young children may try to eat them.

Holidays can be very hectic times, and we can become distracted by the confusion. Keeping young children safe is always a priority.

In the kitchen:
Be sure to keep hot liquids and foods away from the edges of countertops and tables, out of reach of young children's exploring hands. Always turn pot handles in to the middle of the stove.
Keep small, hard candies and nuts out of reach of young children to prevent them from choking.
If you are spending the holidays away from home at a friend's or family member's, don't be afraid to volunteer to help child-proof the home. If they are not parent's themselves, they may not even consider some potential hazards.
Make sure you select age-appropriate toys as well as toys that suit the child's abilities, skills and interest level.
Do not purchase electrical toys with heating elements for children under the age of 8.
Carefully read the labels on toys AND clothing. Understand any cautions or warnings before you purchase the item.
Throw awat plastic wrappings, ties, packing peanuts and other pieces of packing material immediately to prevent children from picking them up and attempting to swallow them.
If a child is getting a bicycle, skateboard, skates or similar item, make sure they have the proper safety equipment before they go riding. Make sure the protective equipment is in good working order and that it fits properly.

Other important items to remember:

Space Heaters:
If using a space heater, make sure to keep all flammable materials at least three feet away.
Do not use space-heaters around unsupervised children and pets.
If you are going to be leaving the room or going to sleep, turn off the space heater and unplug it first.
Do not use extension cords with space heaters. If you must use an extension cord, make sure that it is rated for the level of electricity required by the heater and that it and the heater's power cords are not frayed or cracked.
Space heaters require a lot of energy. Do not put them on a circuit that is already at or near its maximum capacity (load).
Hotel Rooms:
Always locate stairs, fire escapes, elevators and the nearest available phone. Check the door of you room for an emergency evacuation plan. Know how to dial the hotel operator as well as call 911 if an emergency occurs.
Use all locks and locking devices available on doors and windows. You can even purchase portable door lock while traveling.
Use a peep-hole or door viewer to check the identity of a person requesting entry. Open the door only if the person has a reason to enter your room. If you are in doubt, call the hotel or motel office. Do not allow small children to open the door for strangers.