Holiday Safety Tips for the home

December 11, 2010 9:07:39 AM PST
The holidays are a hectic time, and it's easy to get hurt. Consumer Safety Expert John Drengenberg with Underwriters Laboratories offers a few safety tips to help you survive the holidays.

Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations
If you plan on re-using last season's decorations and accessories, carefully inspect each electrical decoration before plugging it in. Products with frayed, cracked or exposed wires should be replaced. Check all ornaments for cracks or damage as well.

Indoor or outdoor? Look for UL Mark
Indoor-use-only light strings are marked with UL's green holographic label. Indoor- or outdoor-use light strings are marked with UL's red holographic label. Only use light strings and other electrical decorations that bear the UL Mark near the plug, signifying that safety standards have been met.

Know your lights and cords
Be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage.

Purchase non-breakable ornaments
If you have children, be sure to look for ornaments that are not made of glass. If you have more delicate or breakable ornaments, place them high up on your tree.

Water your tree
Dry trees pose a substantial fire risk. After bringing your tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk before putting it in a sturdy stand. Be sure to water it daily.

Know your tree's expiration date
After about four weeks, the tree will stop absorbing water, dry out and should be discarded.

Steer your tree clear
Your tree should be positioned at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. It also should not block any doorways or exits.

Keep an eye on candles
If you decide to use candles in your holiday decorations, always blow them out before you leave the room. Place candles far from decorations, window treatments and wrapping paper to avoid potential home fires. Also, store candles and matches out of children's reach

For more safety tips, SafetyAtHome.com.


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