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Stay Safe This Holiday Season with these Safety Tips

Stay Safe This Holiday Season with these Safety Tips from the National Safety Council

Holiday Travel – Stay safe on the roads by:

  • Getting your car ready for winter & be sure you have an emergency kit with you.
    • Don’t drive while over tired, try and get a good night sleep before driving, especially if driving long distances.
    • Plan for traffic! If possible , leave early.
    • Distractions can occur while driving, put the phone down!
    • ALWAYS buckle up, no matter how short or long the drive is.
    • Practice defensive driving.
    • Don’t drive after drinking! Designate a sober drive to make sure everyone makes it home safely.

Decorate Safely

  • Place Christmas trees at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources.
    • If using an artificial, make sure that it is labeled “fire resistant”
    • If using a live tree, cut at least 3 inches off of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, remember to water it daily and remove it as soon as it started to get dry.
    • Plants such as mistletoe, holly berries, amaryllis, and Jerusalem cherry can be poisonous. Keep them away from children and pets!
    • Ensure the proper lights are used, indoor lights should be used indoors and outdoor lights outdoors.
    • Be mindful as to how many light sets can be plugged into one socket, ensure package directions are followed closely.
    • Light sets that have broken or cracked parts, frayed / bare wires, or loose connections should not be used and be replaced.
    • Don’t put breakable ornaments or one with small pieces on the bottom of the tree if small children are present.
    • Ensure all lights and decorations are turned off before leaving the house and going to sleep at night.

Watch out for Fire- Starters

  • Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire deaths.
  • In 2008, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 66,100 home fires, resulting in 480 deaths, 1,660 injuries and $1.1 billion in property damage.
  • Space heaters result in far more fires and losses than central heating devices and have higher risks relative to usage.
  • The National Fire Protection Association reports that one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles and that two of every five decoration fires happen because the decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
    • Candles should be placed out of reach of children and where they cannot be knocked down or blown over. Matches and lighters should always be stored up high and out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
    • Use flameless, rather than lighted, candles near flammable objects.
    • NEVER burn trees, wreathes, or wrapping paper in a fireplace.
    • Ensure your chimney and fireplace are cleaned at least once a year.
    • If using a fireplace, ensure the screen is always in place when the fire is burning.
    • Don’t leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended or when you are asleep.

Cook Safely!

  • Almost half of home fires (47%) and more than half (54%) of home fire deaths occur in the cooler months of November through March.
  • Home fires involving cooking peak on dates that are major U.S. holidays with traditions of cooking, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Christmas Eve.
  • During 2004-2008, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 154,700 home cooking fires each year.  These fires caused an annual average of 460 deaths, 4,850 injuries, and $724 million in property damage.
    • Check appliances – Keep appliances, stove tops, and ovens clean and in working condition, free of accumulated food, dust, or grease. Follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for kitchen equipment and appliances.
    • Store flammables. Never leave or store rags, towels, or paper items near the stove or other heat-generating surfaces.
    • Have fire extinguishers. Always have a fire extinguisher on hand, as well as a box of baking soda for grease or oil fires.
    • Keep items attended. Don’t ever walk out of the kitchen and leave heating pots and pans unattended.
    • Secure and inspect cords. Make sure appliance cords aren’t frayed or melted. Don’t overload kitchen outlets with too many plugs, and keep electrical appliances away from water.

Don’t let the heat get to you!

  • Don’t wear anything loose. Wear long sleeves to prevent grease burns, but don’t let your sleeves, coats, scarves, or even your hair hang loose where they could catch on fire or hook a handle and tip over a hot pan. The same goes for dangling jewelry.
  • Turn handles in. Turn pan handles in toward the stove so they don’t get caught or bumped and spill the pan over as you or your children are moving around.
  • Lift lids away from you. When taking the lid off a hot pot, tilt it so any hot steam or spraying liquids are aimed out, away from you. Be very careful around steam — not only can it burn you just as badly as a flame, but it’s often invisible. Just because you don’t see a white cloud of steam doesn’t mean you can’t still get burned.
  • Never put hot liquids in the blender. Not only can your appliance get damaged, but the heat can also force the lid loose, and suddenly hot liquids are spraying all over you and the kitchen.
  • Keep your oven mitts dry. A wet or damp hot pad or oven mitt becomes ineffective, transferring a lot more burning heat to your hand than a dry one.
  • Mark hot lids and handles. Leave a hot pad on the lid or handle of pots and pans that just came off the stove so that no one accidentally gets burned.

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