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Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Safety Tips

Everyone wants to talk about holiday safety tips at this time of year. For many people, it can be a repetitive and boring subject. Don’t let that happen. The fact is, too many people are injured or die during this time of year. Most of these injuries and fatalities are senseless, in that they could have been prevented.

It all comes down to a few things we can all benefit from:

  • Common Sense – Don’t do things that don’t make sense to the average person.
  • Timing – Don’t rush during the holidays. Take your time and you will be safer overall.
  • Consideration – Keep your cool. Sure, it’s a hectic time of year, but give the other guy a break.

Check out our video on Xmas tree safety:

Here’s our Xmas tree safety tip list:

  • Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, etc.
  • Water the tree daily – without a sufficient amount of water, the tree will dry out faster.
  • Make sure the tree doesn’t block any exits like windows, stairs, and doors.
  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems. Be sure to check the wiring of the rope lighting. Replace any string of lights that may have a broken cord or loose bulb connection.
  • Be sure to turn off all the lights on the tree when unsupervised if the family leaves the home for the evening or when going to bed. Do not leave the tree lights on overnight.
(source: National Fire Protection Agency)

Sure, you’ve heard this before, but people are still dying in structure fires because these simple rules were ignored.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and not everyone who does has a Christmas tree. So, what about holiday safety tips that may affect anyone living in Los Angeles? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.
  • Lights Out: Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.
  • Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour.
  • Check for the Certification Mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
  • One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
  • The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.
  • Climbing Up: Using a ladder when you put up lights? Going into the attic to find things during the holiday season? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.
  • Keep the Gas Behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.
  • Trash the Wrap: Never toss holiday gift wrapping into the fireplace. Does it look nice? Sure, but scars from burns are never attractive, nor do they feel good. Toss the holiday wrapping in the recycling bin.
  • Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home — especially near sleeping areas.
  • Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.
  • Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside of your home.

We know… that’s a lot to keep in mind, but it’s all common sense, so it should be easy to remember. From everyone at MySafe:LA and the Los Angeles Fire Department, we hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday break!


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