The holiday season is upon us and pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few items that bring cheer and charm to the holiday season. If not used properly your Holidays can go from festive to alarming.
We want you to enjoy your Holidays safely when decorating, traveling, or hosting and below you will find a few safety tips to follow provided by The American Red Cross as well as the National Safety Council.
Here are a few –
- Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
- Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
- If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
- Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over.
- Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
- Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach problems. Plants to watch out for include: mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis. Keep all of these plants out of children’s reach.
HOLIDAY HOME FIRES
• Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.**
• On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.***
• Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.**
• During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing.**
• The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.*
• Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.**
Sources: American Red Cross,* U.S. Fire Administration,** and the National Fire Protection Association.***
PLEASE TEST YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS AND CONTACT OUR OFFICE IF BATTERIES NEED TO BE REPLACED. Remember you should be testing your smoke detectors monthly.