If you have a fresh tree in your home, check for dryness. Most tree fires happen between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Trees dry out quickly in a warm home, making it a fire hazard.

In addition to making sure you water your fresh tree daily, it is now time  to check your tree for dryness. If needles are falling off or when you brush your hand on a branch needles fall off, the tree is a fire hazard. It is time to take the tree down. You can consider leaving it for a few days if you keep the lights unplugged and so long as it is not near any heating device, burning fireplace or other flames such as candles. 


When taking your tree down and discarding it, follow recommendations from the National Christmas Tree Association. Because fresh trees are biodegradable they can be reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.
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If your tree is dry, it is dead and a fire hazard. It's time to take it down.
NEVER burn branches or needles!
The sap in many trees such as pines and firs can explode upon igniting. These can explode out of control quickly, sparks shooting across the room, and creosote can cause a hire in the chimney.

REMOVING YOUR TREE:  
If you did not place a plastic tree bag , available at most hardware stores, under your tree stand when you set it up, wrap the tree in plastic before carrying it out (always keeping young children away from the plastic). Sweeping the needles up is best as needles can clog vacuum cleaners.

DISCARDING/RECYCLING OPTIONS:
  • Yard waste: Cut your tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.
LOCAL CITY OR COUNTY RECYCLING/MULCHING PROGRAMS: Check with your local city of county public works department as many communities have programs from curbside, recycling or mulching.
  • Curbside recycling pick-up: Check with your local city or county for tree pick up schedules.  
  • Drop off recycling center: Again check with your local city or county for free drop-off locations.
  • Tree recycling/mulching programs:  Again check with your city or county for tree recycling and mulching programs that shred and chip trees to make mulch for gardens.
  • Nonprofit pickup: Check with local Boy Scout troops or other nonprofit organizations that offer tree pick-up services. Usually for a small donation.

To learn more about Recycle/Reuse Programs for recycled and reused Real Christmas Trees nationwide visit:


 
 
As Christmas approaches, some might feel the stress of making sure everything is perfect, or going to a family gathering where there is just too much emotional tension, or have recently lost a loved one and just having a difficult time coping.  Pro Consumer Safety provides the following to help those to get through the holidays with less stress, emotional pain and a way to feel good again about the holidays. We wish you a happy, peaceful, and memorable holiday.

 
 
Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases 2014-Trust for America’s Health

 The Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases  2014 report finds serious gaps in the nation's ability to manage severe infection disease threats such as the Ebola outbreak. Out of 10 Key indicators related to preventing, detecting, diagnosing and responding to outbreaks, half of states and Washington D.C. scored five or lower. Among the highest were Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia which scored eight out of 10 and Arkansas scored the lowest with 2 out of 10. Read and download the full report.
The report was published by the Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. The report was made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

 
 
  • Do not carry too many packages-lock them in your car trunk or not in plain view  
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Keep credit slips-tear & discard later
  • Wear your purse strapped across your body and wallets in front pocket
  • Use credit or bank ATM card or checks rather than carrying cash.
  • If ATM is used, use as “credit” so you do not have to use your PIN number
  • If you need an ATM, use one located in a mall, store, or well-lighted location
  • In public restrooms-do not hang a purse on handles/hooks and never on the floor
  • Always go with your child when taking them to the restroom
  • Teach your child never to talk to or go anywhere with strangers
  • Use the shopping cart safety belt for a child
  • On escalators-hold a child’s hand facing them forward and make sure shoes are tied
Read more on before and after shopping...
Even if you have a full list of shopping, take a break with the kids even if it's a brief ice skating break at a local holiday ice skating rink, have a coffee and holiday desert with your kids, sing Christmas songs along the way. Making sure your children are buckled safety. Have a safe and Happy Holiday!

 
 
Every year between the months of November and December, on average, 240 people are injured from holiday decorating related activities.   This means that every year 14,000 people are injured between these months, resulting in about 10 people every hour taken to an emergency room for injuries that are 100% preventable.

Injury risks include:
  • Adult falls (mostly from ladders), but also cuts, burns and back strains from decorating
  • Fires: Most tree fires happen between Christmas Day and New Year's because trees are dried out from being in warm homes and not watered. Other risks include the tree being placed too close to hearth of fireplace, strands of lights exceeding maximum number of strands plugged together.
  • Falls and poisonings among toddler-aged children: These include falls from shopping carts and escalators and poisoning from holiday plants.
Fortunately these injury risks can be prevented. Pro Consumer Safety provides safety reminders to help with those families who visit homes who generally do not have children or at times when supervision lapses for a moment of time, as well as other decorating safety recommendations. More at..

Happy Holidays!