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How to Avoid Holiday Hazards in Your Home

November 25, 1987|United Press International

Be it natural Scotch pine or glittery aluminum, a Christmas tree can be found in most homes during the holidays. No matter what you choose, however, some rules apply to ensure a safe and happy season.

The National Safety Council in Chicago recommends the following to avoid possible hazards in your home:

Natural trees:

--Test a natural tree for freshness by striking the trunk against a hard surface to see if any needles drop off. A fresh tree is safer than one that has dried out and is shedding.

--When you get your tree home, saw off two or three inches of the trunk so it will draw water more easily.

--Keep the water container surrounding the tree trunk full at all times to avoid a dried-out tree.

--Keep the tree away from radiators, which can dry it out, or from a fireplace, which could ignite it.

--Check lights for loose sockets, broken or frayed wires, loose connections or damaged installations, which could start a fire. This check must be made every year.

--When leaving the house or going to bed, disconnect the tree lights.

Artificial trees:

--Look for a tree labeled "fire resistant" and bearing a "UL" tag, which means it has been safety tested by the Underwriters Laboratory.

--Do not put lights on metallic trees. The council also recommends that if you have young children, avoid using ornaments that are breakable.

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