The holiday season is a time for families to gather and celebrate, but it pays to remember to be careful around small safety risks that could spoil the holiday cheer. Trees, lights and candles pose serious fire hazards if not carefully installed and maintained properly. The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is offering tips to families who are decorating for the holiday season.
“There are a few easy steps Connecticut families can take this holiday season to make sure their home is safe, and they can enjoy the holidays without headaches,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “Fire hazards are a serious risk during the holiday season, and fires can cause serious injury and damage to our homes if we don’t take precautions. We encourage every family decorating this season to take a few extra minutes to ensure their homes are safe.”
- If you’re buying a live tree, make sure you check for freshness. Check that the needles are hard to pull off, and branches don’t break when bent between your fingers. If you purchase an artificial tree, look for “fire resistant” labels.
- Always place your tree far away from heat sources.
- Make sure that the tree is properly supported and “pet friendly”. The stand should be sturdy and sized to the tree.
- Check lights for cracked sockets, loose connections, and bare wires.
- Don’t overload electrical sockets.
- Verify that your extension cords are in good condition. Don’t use cords with signs of fraying.
- Check labels on lights indicating they have been certified for outdoor use.
- Use lights tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
- Keep candles on a stable, heat resistant surface, and burning within your sight. Burning candles should never be left unattended, or used around young children.
Consumers with questions can contact us at DCP.firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 713-6160.