With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it seems that safety doesn't get left on the list. During the holiday season, fires cause more than $18 million in property damage and holiday decorating injuries send more than 13,000 to the emergency room.
Keep your family safe this season with these quick, simple steps:
1) Water,water,water your tree. Dry trees pose a fire risk - make a fresh cut on the base before putting your tree into a sturdy stand and water it frequently.
2) Check your lights, check them twice. Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage and wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections pose a fire or shock hazard.
3) 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.
4) 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 sleeping areas.
5) Be flame aware. Always blow out unattended candles and teach children to stay away from lit candles and fire places.
6) Give wrapping paper a second life. Don't burn wrapping paper as it may cause intense flash fires and thowing it out adds waste. Consider recycling or repurposing it instead.
7) Check extension cords. Do not connect more than three miniture light strings together. Also, be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not piug in more than the recommended wattage.
8) 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.
9) decorate with a safe eye. Cords should not be run under carpetsor tacked-up with nails or staples. Small decorations can be chocking hazards, so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.
10) Look for UL. The UL mark on a product means that samples of that product have been tested to the highest safety standards. Make sure to look for it to help keep your holidays safe and bright.
Please take a moment to watch these holiday fire safety videos: