Good tidings to you from all of us at TMC and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)!
We don’t want to curb your enthusiasm for the holidays, but the CPSC states that from 2014 to 2016, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires that resulted in 10 deaths, 150 injuries, and nearly $50 million in property damage each of those years. In most cases, defective holiday lights, unattended candles, and dried-out Christmas trees are involved. For those of you who bring the magic of the season into the office by decking the halls, please take note of some important safety reminders from the CPSC for holiday decorating.
- When purchasing artificial trees, look for the label, “Fire Resistant.”
- If you use a live tree, be sure to purchase it fresh, maintain proper water levels, and keep it away from heaters or other heat sources.
- All trees and decorations should be kept out of the way of traffic and never block doorways or reindeer crossings.
- Whether in- or outdoors, only use holiday lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL/ITSNA. Check the label.
- When using lights outdoors or near water sources, only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
- If using an extension cord, check the tag to ensure it is rated for the intended use.
- Keep burning candles within sight, away from items that could catch on fire easily, and be sure to extinguish them before leaving your work area for the day.
- All that glitters should be snow but artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled. To avoid injury, read container labels and follow directions carefully.
- Use caution and a step ladder for trimming the tree or placing decorations in high places.
So now that you have your list, check it twice to make sure your work area is safe, and then share a cup of good cheer. Remember to always be safe at work because, at the end of the day, there’s snow place like home for the holidays!