A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To check for freshness, remember:
- A fresh tree is green.
- Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches.
- When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break.
- The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin.
- When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows that tree is too dry.
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
- Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair” to avoid irritation to eyes and skin.
- Choose tinsel or artificial icicles or plastic or non-leaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
In homes with small children, take special care to:
- Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
- Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children. Pieces could be swallowed or inhaled.
- Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food. A child could eat them!
- Use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.
- Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.
- Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
- Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.