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Holiday Safety-101

Posted On: December 17, 2014
Holiday Safety

Happy Holidays! What an exciting time of year for friends and family to get together for cooking, entertaining, and decorating. In this time of cheer, we just want to make sure we aren’t forgetting some important household chores. Or should we say, prevention safety chores. Chores are never fun but when it comes to your friend’s and family’s safety, chores are the best thing ever!
Let’s start with home heating. According to the Safer Home Heating NFPA’s report, December, January, and February are the leading months for home fires and heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires.
What can you do prevent this? Easy. Here are a couple of helpful tips:

  • Make sure you maintain your heating equipment. Tune ups, changing furnace filters, cleaning ducts, etc…
  • Regular cleaning of chimneys in fireplaces and woodstoves
  • Don’t leave portable or space heaters unattended
  • Change your batteries in your smoke alarms and your carbon monoxide detector. Don’t have them? Get them now! Make sure you also know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning like headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion and seek fresh air and medical care ASAP and contact your local gas company.

Holiday lighting can also be dangerous during the holidays. Here are some tips from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) that will help you keep your family and friends safe:

  • Holiday Lighting- Take care when burning candles. Be sure candles are placed in sturdy, non-combustible holders, and are kept well away from decorations and other combustible materials. Check candles frequently to make sure they don’t burn down too far or drip hot wax. Don’t leave children unattended in a room with lit candles, and always keep candles, as well as matches and lighters, up high, out of the reach of children (preferably stored in a locked cabinet). Don’t display lighted candles in windows or near exits in case you need these to escape. Please do not decorate your tree with candles!
  • Holiday Entertaining- Use caution with holiday decorations and whenever possible, choose those made with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials. When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S., so “stand by your pan.
  • Christmas Trees- Choose a fresh Christmas tree, and put it in a stand designed not to tip over. Place the tree well away from heat sources and exits, and water it constantly. If you purchase an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant. When decorating with lights, be sure to purchase only those that bear the mark of a testing laboratory. Replace any frayed or damaged cords. For outside decorations, use only those lights labeled for outdoor use. Bring outdoor lights inside following the holidays so they are not damaged by extended exposure to harsh weather conditions. Always unplug all lights before leaving home or going to sleep and don’t overload electrical outlets. Use only battery-operated lights if you have a metal Christmas tree, or decorate without lighting.

So these are some hefty hazards but when supervised, maintained, and used responsibly, they can really make a great holiday safe and fun for everyone!
Happy Holidays from Genz-Ryan!!!

National Organizations for Safety Links
The National Safety Council
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health
Consumer Product Safety Council
Environmental Protection Agency

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