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Christmas Decorations: Festive & SAFE!!

Dec

 

As the trees get put up in our home and the lights adorn the garland, keeping the holidays safe is important to Safe Kids Grand Forks.  Each of the past several years, the number of Christmas decoration related injuries has increased and so we offer these simple tips to keep your holiday safe!!

If using a real Christmas tree, be sure that the tree is fresh and that the needles don’t readily pull off the branches.  Water the tree daily and set it up away from a heat source so it does not dry out quickly or pose a fire danger.  Artificial trees also come with a label “fire resistant” and while this does not entirely prevent them from catching fire, it does make them more resistant to one.  Never use candles on or near a tree.

While candles provide a nice glow to the holiday season, they can be a dangerous fire hazard in homes with small children, pets, party gatherings or when placed near garland or other decorations.  Consider using flameless candles that provide the ambiance but avoid the open flame danger.  If real candles are used, keep them away from decorations, garland and curtains.  Assure that they are in an attended area and make sure to extinguish them if you leave the room or go to bed.

Christmas lights add sparkle to our season but be sure to use lights with a UL designation.  This assures that they have been tested for both indoor and outdoor use.  Before hanging, check for frayed or bare wires and don’t overload the outlet with too many light sets.  Keep electrical cords out of high traffic areas.

Fireplaces add a warm holiday glow as well, but never burn wrapping paper or other products that are readily combustible and can get out of hand easily.  Assure that fires are attended to and small children are kept out of their general vicinity. 

When setting up Christmas decorations, be sure that exits from the home (such as doors and windows) are not blocked by a tree or other object that would prevent people from getting out of the home in an emergency.

While fire, and lights, and glowing objects bring shimmer to the holiday season, don’t forget fire safety.  Keep your fire escape plan in your mind and take a few extra minutes to practice safety in the season.  For more holiday decorating tips, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org

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