Holiday Home Safety

Tis the Season to Be Jolly!  It also is the Season to be Safe.  Try this recipe for a tree freshener and use the safety tips to make sure your home is safe this holiday season.

Home Recipe to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh

This is an old recipe that was shared with me by John Davis who for many years served as the area Horticulture Specialist for MSU-ES.

In a 2-liter bottle, mix:

  • 6 to 8 oz. of a non-diet soft drink, the clearer the better
  • 2 oz. vinegar or 2 aspirin
  • 1 oz. mouthwash, the clearer the better

Continue filling the container with tap water until full. Shake and add to water reservoir of your Christmas tree stand.  Keep some mix on hand and add as needed.

Here are a few safety tips from Ted Gordon, MSUES/MAFES Risk Management Manager:

  • Beware of Holiday Candles Keep candles away from combustibles and decorations.
  • Don't leave kids alone in areas with lighted candles, matches or lighters.
  • Keep these articles in a secure area out of reach of children.
  • Avoid using candles at parties, to decorate Christmas trees, and displayed in windows.  
  • Test Tree Trimmings: When buying lights, be sure that they are approved by a certified testing laboratory.
  • Outside decorating: Use only lights made for outside use. Don't overload outlets and unplug all lights at night and when leaving the home.
  • Keep Christmas Trees Fresh: Choose a fresh tree and secure it in a sturdy stand. Place the tree away from heat sources and water daily. If you buy an artificial tree, be sure that it is fire-retardant.
  • Inspect Fireplaces: Fireplaces are nice and cozy in the winter and especially during the Holiday season. Be sure to have them inspected and cleaned as necessary at the start of each winter season. Creosote can form on the chimney walls and cause a fire if not properly cleaned.
  • A good investment for a family protection is a sturdy fire screen. Burn only wood, as paper or pine boughs can float out of the chimney and possibly cause a fire at a friend and/or neighbor's house.
  • If you hang Christmas stockings, don't do this with a lighted fireplace.
  • Cook with Care:  When cooking, refrain from loose fitting clothing. It can be ignited by burners. Turn pot handle in and don't store items on the stovetop, they could catch fire.