This is the most wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, it is also the most dangerous, what with, fires being lit in the hearth and Christmas tree decorations that are electrical. Here are the top eleven tips to make sure you and your loved ones have a safe indoor celebration:
- Keep your Christmas tree well-watered.
Dry trees pose a fire risk – make a fresh cut on the base before putting your tree into a sturdy stand, and water frequently.
- Check your lights, check them twice.
Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard.
- Plan your fire escape.
Use the holidays as a good time to practice a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Identify at least two exits from every room in the house.
- Sleep safe: Install carbon monoxide alarms.
Be sure that at least one carbon monoxide alarm is installed on each floor of your home, and always close to sleeping areas.
- Be flame aware.
Always blow out unattended candles and teach your children to stay away from lit candles or fireplaces.
- Give wrapping paper a second life.
Don’t burn used wrapping paper as it may cause intense flash fires. And throwing it out adds waste. Consider recycling or repurposing it instead.
- Know your lights and cords.
Do not connect more than three miniature light strings together. Also, be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage.
- Steer your tree clear.
Your tree should be positioned at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. It should also not block any doorways or exits.
- Decorate with a safe eye.
Cords should not be run under carpets or tacked-up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be choking hazards so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.
- Look for UL.
The UL Mark appears on products that have been tested for safety. Make sure to look for it to help keep your holidays safe and bright.
- Have a proper first aid kit on hand. You should have a first aid kit in your home all year round, but especially during the holidays. This safety kit is also a great gift idea.