Safety Tips for Trimming the Christmas Tree
Let there be ornaments and lights — and no injuries — this holiday
Be bright about lights
UL recommends when you drag out last year's lights from the
attic or closet, inspect them for worn or broken wires or cracked sockets. If
you find any, don't try to repair them. Toss the entire string and buy a new
If you have the
older-style incandescent lights, make sure not to overload when connecting
lighting strings, says Drengenberg. Check the label for maximum wattage.
If you have a mixture of incandescent and LED strands, don't connect them together at all, according to the Canada Safety Council.
Before turning in for the night, always turn off the tree lights.
Related: Disaster-Proof Your Holiday Decor
Placing ornaments and tinsel
UL reminds parents to keep your glass ornaments high enough
so that toddlers can't reach them. If kids grab them or knock them off and the
ornaments break, and they could get cut on the glass pieces or put them in their
mouths. It is also important to put sharp or weighted ornaments up high.
Garlands and light strings can
strangle children who play with them, according to
Safety Foundation International. Keep them out of reach of
small, curious hands.
Small children may be attracted to tinsel, so if you use it, keep it off the lower branches.
Keep the pets away
Cats are also known to sometimes to get up in the tree.
That's one good reason to make sure your stand is stable and consider attaching
the tree to the wall.
Secure any items your pet might chew on, such as gingerbread men, candy canes and light cords. (Also keep pets away from holiday plants, such as poinsettias, holly and mistletoe, that can make them sick.)
Cats are attracted to tinsel because it's shiny and fun to
play with. UL explains that long strands of tinsel can get stuck in the
intestines of a dog or cat. So, remember
if your pet is prone to eating unusual things, it's best to skip the tinsel.
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