Lessons Learned from National Lampoon: Stay Safe While Decorating for Christmas

December 10, 2015 | Love Where You Live | By: The Goodhart Group

Here are some tips to help you trim the tree, light up the house and relax by an open fire, without having to worry about injuries to you, your kids or your pets.

Thank you to the Alexandria police for passing these along!


  • Be sure to place the tree away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources.
  • Artificial:  Many artificial trees are fire resistant.  If you buy one, look for a statement specifying this protection.
  • Real: A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To check for freshness, look for: needles that are hard to pull, needles that do not break, and a trunk that is sticky with resin.


  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or care wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.


  • Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers and other decorations from the fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
  • Keep a screen before the fireplace anytime a fire is burning.
  • Use care with “fire salts” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals which can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation or vomiting if eaten.  Keep away from children.