Holiday Safety Tips

The staff of the New England Laborers' Health and Safety Fund would like to wish all New England Laborers and their families a joyous and healthy holiday season.  Here are a few helpful safety tips to follow that will help ensure that you enjoy this special time of year.


Artificial Christmas Trees

Artificial trees must always bear the UL (Underwriter's Laboratory) or FM (Factory Mutual) label.  Some unlabeled trees can burn within seconds. 


Live Christmas Trees

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 bottom is sticky with resin and when bounced on the ground few needles fall.


Choose a spot in your home out of the way of traffic and away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources.  Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption and always keep the stand filled with water.  Use thin guy-wires to secure a large tree to walls or ceiling. 



Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors) and always look for the UL label.

Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.

Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

Never use electric lights on a metallic tree, which can act as a conductor and electrocute a person touching a branch! 

Keep "bubbling" lights away from children because they contain a hazardous chemical.


Tree Trimmings

Always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places.

Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.

Choose tinsel and artificial icicles made of 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 and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.  Avoid choking dangers by keeping trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children.