Among the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season, remember these 10 simple tips to help keep your family safe:
- Keep your tree well watered – a watered, happy tree not only keeps your decor lively and festive, but also helps prevent a potential fire hazard. Heated rooms can dry out a tree quickly, so make sure to check your stand water regularly. Before putting the tree in its stand, cut off a few inches off the trunk; this will help the tree absorb more water an keep from drying out quickly.
- If you prefer artificial trees – make sure to choose one with the label “Fire Resistant.”
- Tree lights – make sure to check all tree lights for frayed wires, broken sockets, missing bulbs, or loose connections before putting them on the tree. Make sure you are unplugging all indoor lighted decorations before going to bed or leaving the house. Like candles, holiday lights should only be in use when occupants are present in case of electrical shorts. Also, some tree lights contain lead in the bulbs and/or strands so make sure they are out of reach of children.
- Outdoor Lights – check the packaging for outdoor lights to make sure they are certified for outdoor use. To prevent damage to the cord, string light strands through hooks instead of using tacks or nails to secure the lights.
- Extension cords – use no more than 3 standard-size sets of lights per extension cord to avoid overloading the circuit.
- Ornaments – if you have pets or small children, avoid ornaments that look like candy or food. Sharp or breakable ornaments should be avoided to prevent injury.
- Wrapping Paper – do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. Wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely, which could result in a flash fire.
- Holiday plants – such as mistletoe berries and holly berries are toxic and should be kept out of reach of children.
- Space heaters – cause approximately 79% of fatal home heating fires. If space heaters are in use, make sure there is a 3 foot clearance away from curtains, blankets, or other potentially flammable materials.
- Smoke detectors – test smoke detectors to make sure they are working, and keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
From everyone at HMC, we wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!