By Susan A. Neufeld
Mountain Communities – San Bernardino County Fire has offered up some safety tips for your Holiday decorations.
CHRISTMAS LIGHT CHECK
Before you put up your electrical Christmas lights, check the cords and make sure there are no frayed areas, burned out bulbs or empty sockets. Any damaged strands of light should be thrown out or recylced.
ARTIFICIAL OR NATURAL TREES
If you use an artificial tree, make sure it is made of safe, fireproof material. If your artificial tree is pre-lit, make sure you test the tree, and check all electrical cords and connectors for damage, fraying or broken parts before using the tree. On a pre-lit tree, check carefully for burnt-out, broken or damaged light sockets. Damaged equipment should be replaced or repaired before using the tree.
For natural trees, make a fresh, 1-inch cut at the base, to open pores clogged by sap. The fresh cut should be creamy-white so that the tree will be able to drink water. Water the tree every day. Place the tree away from heat sources: heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, T.V. sets or sunny windows. Keep rearranged furniture away from heat sources as well. Be careful not to block a door with the tree or with rearranged furniture.
REMOVAL AND RECYCLING OF TREES
After the holidays, remove a natural tree from the house as soon as possible. Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace: it burns too fast and is EXPLOSIVE! The best alternative is to RECYCLE your tree through you local city or county program.
Have a safe and Happy Holiday season!