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7 Ways to Ensure A Safe and Happy Holiday

While many of us may be planning to enjoy a holiday slap-stick comedy while relaxing with family this year, most of us would prefer that our holiday reality be lacking in flaming holiday trees, shorted-out decorative lights, and icy mishaps. So here are some ways to stay safe this holiday season.

Holiday Movies

Your Holiday Tree

Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. If when rustled, many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Hark! Is the Tree on Fire?

Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Not Enough Cooks in the Kitchen

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range.

Visions of Sugar Plums

Avoid using decorations that appear edible, which can be choking hazards for your child or a guest’s child if they try to eat them.

Outlet Overload

Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires—they should not be warm to the touch.

Wrapping Paper Tinder

Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion.

Not Home for the Holidays?

If you plan to be away from home for the holidays, have a friend or family member watch your home and collect items like mail and newspapers, which can be signs of your absence to strangers.

Get more holiday fire safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration Web site: here.