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  • Holiday Decorations Bring Risk of Fires

    holidayAccording to the American Red Cross, approximately 47,000 fires are caused each year by defective holiday decorations. Moreover, these same fires leave hundreds of Americans injured. Many of these injuries could be avoided by taking simple, preventative steps to reduce the risk of fire.

    The most common culprit – and the source of the most devastating fires – are Christmas trees. Although artificial Christmas trees today are often coated with fire-retardant properties, a fresh Christmas tree offers no such protection. A live tree that has been allowed to dry out presents a considerable fire hazard. When selecting a fresh tree, especially early in the holiday season, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that buyers look for green needles that do not easily fall from the branch, as well as a trunk that is sticky with resin. Christmas trees which are already dry can ignite from the heat caused by Christmas lights, or even from heat put out by a nearby kerosene heater or fireplace.

    A Christmas Tree Fire Can Quickly Burn Out of Control

    With the dry Christmas tree serving as kindling, flames can shoot upwards toward a ceiling. Once a ceiling becomes engulfed in flames a fire will quickly spread, putting an entire home and its inhabitants at risk. Similarly, many Americans will also celebrate the season with candles, which the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) maintains are responsible for nearly half of all house fires. ESFI cautions against candle use for trees.

    When selecting lights to trim a tree or decorate a home, choose lights that are certified by a product safety organization. Before hanging lights, always perform a close inspection to ensure that none are broken, and never use a strand of lights with frayed wires or loose connections. Additionally, avoid connecting more than three light strands on any single extension cord. By overloading the cord, a user can spark a fire at the socket.

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Represent Burn Victims

    The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP recognize that the holidays are a happy time, and decorating for the season is important to many families. Our firm wishes your family a safe and joyous season.