December 8, 2008

Christmas tree safety tips offered

U.S. occupational and environmental health and safety professionals advise caution when cutting your own fresh Christmas tree.

Experts at the American Industrial Hygiene Association suggest reading the operators manual or getting training from someone experienced with chainsaws before using a chainsaw to cut down an evergreen tree.

Remember to use goggles, work gloves and other protective clothing, the experts at the American Industrial Hygiene Association said in a statement.

To make sure the live Christmas tree is fresh and naturally fire-retardant, look for sticky resin on the trunk butt and needles that are green and stay on the tree when it is shaken.

Before you lift your Christmas tree into your car trunk or onto the roof, remember to bend with your knees to save your back and ask for help if you think you need it, they said. Remember to securely fasten the tree onto the roof or in the trunk.

Those getting an artificial tree need to ensure it has a fire resistant label before buying. All trees should be kept away from fireplaces, portable heaters and other heat sources. In live trees, make a fresh cut on the trunk for better water absorption and keep the stand filled with water.