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Product Safety Tips for the Holidays

Product Safety

christmas safetyAmid the hustle and bustle this time of year, it is vital that you take necessary precautions to stay safe. From traveling to gift-giving to enjoying the fireplace, and more, the holidays pose several unique threats. These mainly concern product safety and responsible use of our Christmas trappings! In this article, we’ll take a look at several holiday-specific items and how to keep safe as we use them this holiday season.

Holiday Product Safety:

Artificial Trees:

  • When you purchase an artificial tree, be sure that it is advertised as fire-resistant. Do not underestimate the fire hazard this might present. And if you choose a tree with string lights attached, be sure that UL or another independent testing lab certifies it.
  • If your tree is very old, there is a chance that it might contain lead. This substance is exceptionally hazardous, so be sure that your artificial Christmas tree does not contain any lead.

Fresh Trees:

  • Always keep your tree adequately watered to ensure that it does not dry out. A dry tree is a significant fire hazard.
  • Trim two inches off of the trunk and as many branches as seems necessary. This will allow the tree to sit in a water-holding tree stand without the potential for toppling over.
  • Keep all fire sources away from your tree. Be mindful of things like fireplaces, stoves, and heating vents.

String Lights:

  • UL should also certify indoor and outdoor lights. Make sure that with each year, you use them to inspect each wire and bulb for frays, broken glass, or loose connections. If you notice significant damages, throw out that particular string.
  • Don’t overload your extension cords. This time of year, it can be easy to run out of outlets with all the lights and decorations! But make sure to limit your extension cords to just three strands each to prevent a fire hazard.
  • When you set up your lights outside, be sure that they are tightly secured so as not to be affected by heavy winds.

Furnace and Chimney:

  • Before you fire up your furnace or chimney, have a professional inspect them each and clean out your air ducts.
  • Check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly in the case of an emergency.
  • Put nothing but logs into your fireplace. While it may seem like an easy or convenient cleanup, refrain from putting things like evergreen or wreaths into a fireplace or wood stove. These will burn much faster than wood, thus creating sparks that could enter your living room.


  • Be mindful of the toys you select as children’s gifts. They should be age-appropriate and protected by warranty.
  • Be mindful of your recipient’s younger siblings. While a gift might be suitable for one child, it may not be so for a younger child who can easily access the gift.

Christmas and all its trappings are full of charm and good cheer. But amid this happy season come particular hazards. So, be careful when making purchases and using Christmas-specific items. In the case that you are confronted with a case of product liability this season, do not hesitate to reach out to us at William D. Shapiro Law, Inc. We are prepared to offer you legal counsel and advocacy in this challenging time.

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