The holidays are a cheerful and exciting time but if you don't take certain precautions, they can result in tragedies for you and your family. Follow these simple tips to keep everything joyful and bright!
Christmas Tree Hazards
Be sure when picking out a tree, you pick one that is full of lots of green needles. Brown needles indicate the tree is too dry and dry trees are more likely to catch on fire. Another good test is to see if the branches snap easily. A healthy tree's branches will bend and be tough to break.
When you put your tree up, be sure to water it every day to keep it from drying out. When the needles start falling off at a rapid rate or start to turn brown, it's probably time to get rid of the tree.
For all of you artificial tree people out there, check to make sure the tree you have or the one you are buying is labeled fire resistant or flame retardant.
Before using lights indoor or outdoors, check the label to make sure you are using them in the right location. There will be an indictor on the packing and the cord itself telling you if it is safe for indoor or outdoor use.
Whether the lights are brand new or old and faithful strands, check for frayed wires and shortages. If there are any, throw these strands out. For broken light bulbs, unplug the light strand and replace the bulb with one of the proper wattage for that strand.
When placing lights on the tree, as mentioned in the previous section, if the tree is watered enough there shouldn't be any problems.
Never overload your circuit! If you need to use more than two plugs in an outlet, use a surge protector instead of many different extension cords.
Many people use candles during the holidays to create ambience. Just make sure candles are several feet away from any flammables. Never leave a candle burning when you leave your home; you never know what could happen while you are gone.
If you are like most people, you probably do a little more cooking than usual around the holidays. It never hurts to review simple cooking safety tips. Do not leave the oven or stove unattended. Make sure you clear any flammable materials away from heat sources such as pot holders and curtains. It's also not a bad idea to keep a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink in case of an emergency. Last but not least, make sure you don't have any loose hanging clothing on while you are cooking.
Stay safe this holiday season and happy holidays!