With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it seems that there’s never enough time to get everything done. It’s important, though, to make sure that safety doesn’t get left off the list: during the holiday season, fires cause a 34% greater dollar loss and holiday decorating injuries send more than 14,000 to the emergency room. Keep your family safe, read these 10 tips for Christmas season safety. Read more...
It is easy to think that a home fire would never happen to your family, but there are more potential risks around your home than you may think - especially during the winter months. A recent study showed that within three seconds of ignition, a dry scotch pine is completely ablaze; within 40 seconds, a flashover occurs that engulfs the entire room and releases dense, deadly, toxic smoke. The good news is, it can take less than a minute to help prevent a tragedy. What can you do to help keep your family safe this season? Prepare plan and prevent. Christmas Tree Fire Hazards website.
If you are buying Christmas lights for your home this year, look for energy-efficient LED lights that use 75 percent less energy and last years longer than an incandescent light string, according to ENERGY STAR. The acronym, LED, stands for light-emitting-diode, which is a small light source made of semiconducting materials that allow an electrical current to flow in only one direction. LEDs are reliable and do not produce heat. Look for department or home improvement stores that have a trade-in program for trading incandescent Christmas light strings toward a credit for purchasing LED Christmas light strings.
Whether your holiday decorations are simple or extravagant, there are also important safety tips to remember:
- When you bring your holiday decorations out of storage, inspect lights to make sure there are no cracks, broken sockets or loose connections.
- Replace damaged light strings with energy-efficient LED lights.
- Always use a ladder, not a stool or chair, when hanging lights.
- To avoid falling hazards, keep cords away from high traffic areas of your home.
- Do not overload electrical sockets.
- Turn off holiday lights when you are not at home or going to sleep.
- Consider using a timer to control when your lights go on and off, setting it to turn the lights off at bedtime.
- Make sure you use the proper lights for the location, do not use lights rated for indoor use only on the outside of your home.
- If you are using a cut tree place it in an adequate container and water it every day. A Christmas tree stand with a well that holds at least a gallon of water, or a five gallon bucket of sand that is kept moist are both good options. If you tree is losing needles it probably needs watered. A dry tree is highly flammable and if ignited, can engulf a room in fire in less than one minute.
- Check your fire detectors. If you don't have them, install one in or near every bedroom.