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by Jeff Rasansky - December 6, 2013
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

In many Dallas homes, the Christmas tree goes up on the day after Thanksgiving. When you decorate this year, make sure to think about safety.

Each year, more than 80,000 suffer holiday-related injuries. With few tips from our Dallas product liability attorneys, you can keep your holidays jolly and safe.

Artificial Trees

  • Artificial trees are convenient and require less time and effort than real trees. They are a good choice for busy families. If you choose an artificial tree, make sure that it is labeled as fire resistant.
  • Some trees come pre-lit. If you choose a plug-in tree, choose one that with certification from UL or another independent testing laboratory. Check the tree each year for damage to the wires.
  • Some artificial Christmas trees contain large amounts of lead. Look for lead warning labels.

Fresh Trees

A dry tree is a fire hazard, so you will want to keep your tree from drying out. Before setting up the tree, trim at least two inches off the trunk. Then trim away as many branches as necessary to enable the tree to sit safely in a water-holding tree stand. Make sure the stand has widespread feet to keep it from tipping. If the tree is still top-heavy, use thin gauge wires to secure the tree to the ceiling. Once the tree is secure, fill the reservoir with water and keep it filled through the holiday season. Keep the tree away from fireplaces, stoves, and heating vents.

How to identify a good fresh tree:

  • Needles are green not brown
  • The needles are flexible and do not break easily
  • It is hard to pull the needles away from the branches
  • The trunk is sticky with resin.

Artificial Snow Spray

When using artificial snow sprays, follow directions carefully. Artificial snow can injure lungs if it is inhaled.

Holiday Lights

  • Indoor or outdoor lights should be labeled as certified by UL or another independent testing laboratory. Before putting up your lights, check for frayed or bare wires, broken light sockets, and loose connections. Throw out any damaged strings of light.
  • Don’t overload your extension cords. You should use no more than three standard sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Secure outdoor lights firmly to prevent wind damage.
  • Do not use lights on a metal tree. There is a high risk of electrocution.
  • Keep bubbling lights out of reach of children. These lights contain a hazardous chemical that could cause injury if ingested.
  • Turn off lights when you go to bed.

Candles

Never use lighted candles on or near a Christmas tree or near flammable decorations or wrapping paper. Keep candles in non-flammable holders and placeholders where they cannot be knocked over.

Trimmings

  • Use decorations made from non-combustible or flame-resistant materials. Check that tinsel or icicles are lead-free. If decorating with spun glass “angel hair,” use gloves and eye protection as the fiberglass can irritate eyes and skin.
  • Keep sharp or breakable ornaments out of reach of children and pets.
  • Avoid smoking near flammable decorations.

Fires

  • Before lighting a fire, remove all decorations from the mantle and fireplace area. Check that the flue is open and keep a fire screen in front of the flame.
  • Keep matches, lighters, and “fire salts” away from children. Fire salts often contain dangerous heavy metals.

Wrapping

After opening gifts, remove wrapping paper from the area near the tree and fireplace. Never burn gift wrap in a fireplace; the dyes and chemicals could cause a flash fire.

The Texas product liability lawyers at the Rasansky Law Firm wish you a merry Christmas. We hope your holiday is safe, but if you need us we are here.  Contact us during the holidays 24 hours a day at 1-877-405-4313.

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