We made this list and checked it twice to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season!
The holiday season has kicked into high gear with all kinds of activity — from decorating and shopping, to party planning and enjoying, to cooking and baking and so much more! During these festive times, avoiding emergencies may seem like common sense, but as we get busier and more excited to celebrate, we may forget to put safety on our holiday lists.
Decorations like trees, lights and candles increase the risk of home fires during the holidays—with Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day being the top three days for home candle fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The American Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe from home fires as they decorate this holiday season, and to remember that safety should be part of all of your celebrations, whenever and wherever they may be!
Follow these 10 simple tips to keep the season safe and jolly!
- Use battery-operated candles. If you must use real candles, never leave them unattended, keep them away from anything that could burn, and place them out of reach from children and pets.
- Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken, and don’t string too many strands of lights together—no more than three per extension cord.
- If you are buying an artificial tree, look for the fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat. Don’t use electric lights on metallic trees.
- If you have a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and water it to keep it that way. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.
- If using older decorations, check their labels. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.
- If hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel, don’t light the fireplace.
- When decorating outside, make sure decorations are intended for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
- Don’t fall for your holiday decorations. If using a ladder, be extra careful. Make sure to have good, stable placement and wear shoes that allow for good traction. Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when putting up electrical decor and lights outside as metal ladders conduct electricity.
- Don’t forget to turn off all lights and electrical decorations before leaving your home or office or going to bed.
- Watch what you’re cooking. Stay in the kitchen whenever you are frying, grilling, broiling or cooking food on the stove top. If you’re simmering, baking, or roasting food, be sure to check it regularly.
The Red Cross wishes you a joyful, fire- and injury-free holiday season and a happy New Year!