It’s that time of year again, when we’re decking our halls, trimming our trees, and spreading Christmas cheer. With an increased risk of fire or other safety issues during the holidays due to lights, candles and holiday cooking, we have put together a list, courtesy of FEMA and the Humane society of safety tips for keeping your family safe and pets safe over the holiday season!
1) A dry Christmas tree that is exposed to fire, a short in a cord or Christmas lights can be devastating- be careful to make sure that your Christmas tree is watered daily. Additionally, make sure to keep the tree away from heat sources that would cause increased risk of fire. Examples include baseboards, fireplace, space heaters.
2) Make sure that you blow your candles out. Approximately, 1/2 of all home fires during the holidays have started from candles. Precautions include keeping them away from anything that is likely to burn such as curtains, decorations that hang down or anything that could easily catch fire.
3) Christmas lights should always be checked before putting up to make sure there are not any shorts present in the cord or areas of the cord that have become worn. Replacing Christmas lights that are old and worn with new lights decreases risk of a fire, this includes securing loose strands and buying lights that have safety certifications. Most importantly, don’t forget to turn the lights out.
4) People have a tendency to throw items in the fireplace over the holidays that would not normally go in there, this increases the chance of an accident happening. Always protect yourselves and your family by throwing items safely in a receptacle bin and using a screen for your fireplace.
5) While the holidays can be considered one of the most exciting times of the year, they are also the time of year that an increase in cooking fires are reported. Most instances, can be a grease fire or oven fire, but make sure you know the facts: water can in fact, cause grease or an oil fire to splatter and spread. Baking soda, covering the fire, salt or a fire extinguisher are proven solutions for putting these fires out. If the fire is inside of the oven, opening the oven only feeds more oxygen into the fire and can cause it to spread. Try to turn off the oven completely and call for help.
In addition to increased risk of fire in your home during the holiday season, be careful to keep a close eye on pets who can easily digest unwanted items or get burned playing with your favorite holiday candle.
6) Christmas tree water- Pets are no strangers to drinking water from various sources inside the home, some, not so advantageous to their digestive tract. The water that is in the bottom of the tree can be plagued with unwanted chemicals or shavings that can cause your pet to get sick.
7) While poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are all part of us spreading Christmas cheer, one bite from our pets and they can be considered especially harmful as all 3 plants are poisonous if ingested.
8) Christmas decorations like our favorite holiday candle, tinsel, or even our Christmas lights can be troublesome should our four-legged family members get a hold of them. Burns and accidental ingestion are not uncommon.
The Holidays are full of joy and busy schedules. Making sure you and your family are safe looks different this time of year. We hope you are all enjoying this cold Winter season. The greatest gifts of all are the relationships with family and friends. Merry Christmas! We can’t wait to see you next year.