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Tips to Make It a Safe and Merry Holiday

The DuPage County Health Department offers tips to ensure trees, decorations and lights look pretty and work safely.

Those holiday decorations are beautiful to look at with lights twinkling and tinsel sparkling. Taking steps to make sure the lights, decorations and trees are used properly will make the holidays safer. 

When decorating for the holidays its important to take safety measures to keep all the sparkle from going up in flames or causing family members injury, according to officials. The DuPage County Health Department offers a number of tips to keep your holidays merry and bright this holiday season.

Here are some tips for tree, light and decoration safety:

Christmas tree safety

  • If you purchase an artificial tree look for the label "Fire Resistant." 
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, the needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break.  
  • A fresh tree should not lose a lot of needles when tapped on the ground and the trunk butt should be sticky with tree resin.  
  • A fresh tree should have a few inches cut off the bottom to help it absorb water. 
  • Make sure to continue to add water to the tree stand during the holiday season.    

Setting up the tree

  • Do not place a tree near radiators, fireplaces or portable heaters.
  • The tree should not block doorways and be kept out of the main path of foot traffic.   

Holiday lights      

  • Check the lights before using, even if they are new.      
  • Check for any frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.     
  • Do not use electric lights on a metal tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights and cause electrocution.      
  • Outdoor lights should be certified for outdoor use.      
  • Use hooks or insulated staples to hold lights outdoors. Do not use tacks or nails. 
  • Plug outdoor decorations into a circuit with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.       
  • Turn off lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave your house.   

Holiday decorations     

  • Use noncombustible or flame resistant materials on a tree.      
  • Use tinsel or artificial icicles made of plastic or non-leaded materials.      
  • Keep trimming materials with small parts out of the reach of children.       
  • Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.      
  • Avoid tree decorations that resemble food or candy canes, which children might attempt to eat.
  • Remove all wrapping paper, ribbons and bows after opening and do not leave near trees or fireplaces because these can pose a choking hazard or can start on fire if near an open flame.    

Source: DuPage County Health Department

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