10 Important Holiday Safety Tips
‘Tis the season! No matter what holiday you celebrate, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa it is easy to get caught up in the holiday festivities and forget about holiday safety. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) roughly 200 fires were caused by Christmas trees in recent years, resulting in 17 million dollars in damage and 10 lives lost every year. In fact, during November and December 2014, holiday decoration incidents — fires, falls and electric shocks — caused 12 fatalities and more than 14 thousand injuries. To ensure you have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season, below are 10 holiday safety tips to keep in mind as you deck the halls.
Consumer Product Safety Commission holiday decoration safety
10 Holiday Safety Tips:
- Keep live trees hydrated and away from heat sources – Live trees are highly flammable when the needles are dry. Check the tree water level daily to ensure proper hydration. Place your tree away from fireplaces and heaters, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
- Artificial trees – Fake it! Buy an artificial tree and make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.” Fire resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.
- Check tree lights – Replace any lights with frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections. The Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines for seasonal light safety has set a minimum wire size and standards for strain relief and over-current protection.
- Put the lights out – Turn off all lights when you go to bed and before leaving the house to avoid a short that could start an electrical fire.
- Prevent electrical cord damage – Don’t mount lights in a way that might cause damage to the cords and avoid using nails or tacks. Use hooks or insulated staples for mounting cords.
- Candles – The National Fire Protection Association reports 12% of home candle fires occur in December. Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Make sure candles are on stable surfaces. Don’t burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items.
- Use unbreakable ornaments – If you have fragile ornaments, place them out of reach from pets and children.
- Avoid fake food – Avoid decorations that look like candy or food if you have young children and or pets in the house.
- Beware of poisonous plants – While beautiful and festive, poinsettias are poisonous when eaten, keep them out of reach of children and pets.
- DON’T drink and drive – Many people choose to travel during the holidays by automobile, with the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. In 2013, 343 people died on New Year’s Day, 360 on Thanksgiving Day and 88 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts 2015. Alcohol-impaired fatalities represented 31% of the totals. Please use a designated driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party.
Enjoy your family, friends and the holidays, but always remember SAFETY FIRST!