Nancy Nord and the CPSC have published what might the densest collection of common sense “advice” we’ve ever seen: the “2008 Holiday Decoration Safety Tips” brochure, which you can download here if you need to. Among their tips: buy fire-resistant or non-flammable items whenever possible, don’t leave candles unattended, and don’t overwhelm the CPSC with “too much” power.
All snark aside (okay, not all), it’s worth a quick glance just in case there’s something here you’ve managed to miss your whole life. Or just trust us that these seemed like the most important items:
- Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that, if eaten, can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting. Keep them away from children.
- Do not burn wrapping paper or plastic items in the fireplace. These materials can ignite suddenly and burn intensely, resulting in a flash fire.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
- Burning evergreens in the fireplace can also be hazardous. When dry, greens burn like tinder. Flames can flare out of control, and send sparks flying into a room, or up the chimney to ignite creosote deposits.
Basically, just don’t be a dumbass with the fireplace and/or Christmas trees this Christmas. Thanks, Nancy!