(Trends Wide) — As the holidays approach and many in the United States are placing their Christmas trees in the house, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just issued an alarming warning.
The CPSC took Twitter by surprise on Saturday, posting a shocking image of a burning skeleton in a room decorated for Christmas. The text in the image reads: “Water your Christmas tree” and “A dry Christmas tree burns faster than a newspaper.”
The image was posted alongside the word “Soon” in the tweet. The message, while a bit morbid, is getting a lot of attention and acts as a good reminder.
“CPSC is always looking for new and innovative ways to reach consumers with our messages, especially when families start to gather and celebrate the holidays,” Nychelle Fleming, the agency’s communications specialist, told Trends Wide Tuesday.
This post was part of the organization’s annual holiday safety campaign.
Why a Christmas tree can be a hazard
Joe Galbo, a social media specialist for the CPSC, noted: “In a matter of seconds, an entire room can be consumed by a burning Christmas tree.” So while the skeleton was a very dramatic way of passing it on, it was certainly appropriate given how dangerous a dry Christmas tree can be. “
From 2015 to 2017 there were an annual average of 100 Christmas tree fires and 1,100 candle fires, according to the 2020 CPSC press release, resulting in 20 deaths, 160 injuries and about $ 50 million in damage. materials every year.
In a thread that followed the tweet, the agency added humor to the warning with tweets such as “Thank you for helping us spread this message, everyone. NASA has to send things into space to get this kind of attention. They’re the best.”
This is not the first time that the CPSC has used eye-catching images to send messages. They have a history of using social media platforms to remind Americans of proper security measures.
However, they kept warning people with more safety tips on the Twitter thread reminding everyone to “water your real Christmas tree if you have one” and to “not leave a pan unattended this Thanksgiving.” .
How to prevent accidents on vacation
With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching next week, this last message is timely. According to the 2020 CPSC group press release, an average of 1,700 kitchen fires occur on Thanksgiving Day alone, more than triple the average for any other day of the year.
The best advice for families meeting next week, Fleming urged, is “never leave food unattended in the kitchen or in the oven.”
According to the CPSC, in recent years there has been a tendency to fry turkeys. Fleming suggested that, if this cooking method is used, “it should only be done outside and away from the house.” By this we mean don’t do it in the garage, or on the porch, or in the yard, move away a bit. “
The safety commission also has safety warnings for the Christmas season.
“If you decorate with strings of Christmas lights, check for broken bulbs, cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections,” advises Fleming.
Along with decorations, seasonal gifts can also be a threat, especially for children.
“When you think of parties, you think of toys and children,” Fleming observed. “Using the age label on toys as a guide is the most important safety tip.”
An updated report from the CPSC with the latest information will be released on Thursday.