It’s that time of the year again, the holiday and winter season. Although it is a time for family and friends to rejoice in treasured holiday customs and traditions, it’s also a time when many hazards or serious injuries occur. We are urging folks to be careful and to follow a few safety tips to stay safe this holiday season.
Tree and Decorations
--> Buying live trees, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, its needles are hard to pull from branches, and its needles do not break when bent between your fingers. The bottom of a fresh tree is sticky with resin and, when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
--> Setting up a tree at home, place it away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, vents, woodstoves, space heaters and radiators. Because heated rooms rapidly dry out live trees, be sure to monitor water levels daily and keep the tree stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic, and do not block doorways with the tree.
--> Buying an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean that the tree will not catch fire, it does indicate that the tree is more resistant to catching fire.
--> Decorating a tree in homes with small children, take special care to avoid sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children who could swallow or inhale small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
--> Never use real candles on a Christmas tree.
--> Use only approved lights and do not plug in more than three strands of lights together and replace lights with broken or worn electrical cords.
--> Always turn off the Christmas tree lights before going to bed or leaving the house
Candle Safety Information
--> Keep burning candles within sight. Extinguish all candles before you go to bed, leave the room, or leave the house.
--> Keep candles, as well as matches and lighters, out of the reach of children, and don't leave children unattended in a room with lit candles.
--> Keep candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface where kids and pets cannot reach them or knock them over. Lighted candles should be placed away from items that can catch fire and burn easily, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.
--> Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if swallowed. Keep them away from children.
--> Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
Cooking Safety Information
--> Four in ten reported home fires start in the kitchen -- more than any other place in the home. Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires.
--> Cover grease fires with lid and turn off heat. Never attempt to carry a burning pot to the outside as the hot grease could splatter on you causing you to drop the pan or spread the fire throughout the house.
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