EHS gives fire-safety tips for holiday decoratingDecember 6, 2011Campus Updates· Environmental Health and Safety has offered holiday fire-safety tips to keep in mind this winter—both on and off campus. Artificial trees and wreaths must be labeled by the manufacturer as flame retardant. Use only nonflammable decorations. Keep all decorations away from heaters or open flames. Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before using them. All lighting and wiring should be UL-approved and bare its tag. The use of electrical wiring and lighting on metal trees is prohibited. Use extension cords temporarily, not on a permanent basis. (Note: The use of extension cords is prohibited in the Residence Halls) The use of candles and open flames on or near any decorations is prohibited. Do not obstruct the exits, pullstations or fire extinguishers with decorations. Do not hang decorations from sprinkler heads or smoke detectors. This can affect the device. Do not leave lights on unattended. If using a live Christmas tree (live Christmas trees and wreaths are prohibited in residence halls): Keep it in sturdy base to avoid it from tipping over. The base should be capable of holding a minimum a 2 day supply of water. Keep it watered and check it at least daily. Check the tree daily for dryness by shaking a branch. If the needles fall off readily or if the needles are brittle and break when bent between the thumb and index finger the tree should be removed. Remove the tree before leaving for an extended period of time. Don’t place the tree close to a heat source, including a space heater or heat vent. Keep away at least a distance equal to the height of the tree. For more information regarding holiday fire safety visit usfa.fema.gov/citizens/focus/holiday.shtm.