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December 21, 2013

Making a holiday out of home safety

(Sung to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”)

“On the month with all the holidays,

I like to give some clues,

So everyone stays safe,

And you don’t sing the holiday blues!”

Yes, it’s holiday season once again, and what better time to remind everyone of some simple things you can do to keep you and your children safe and sound.

First, if you have a tree, secure it well to keep it from tipping. If it is a live tree, make sure it’s fresh, green and that the needles are hard to pull off. Keep it well watered and away from floor heaters, fireplaces or other heat sources. If it is artificial, make sure it is fire resistant.

As for ornaments, keep no more than three strands of lights linked together on an extension cord, and never use electric lights on a metal tree. Don’t forget to inspect those light strings each year for frayed cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections.

If there are children in the home, tinsel and small decorations and bulbs can be a choking hazard, and should not be at the bottom of the tree where small children can reach for them and then put into their mouths.

In addition, some of the light products bought at stores warn about lead content in the wires that come with the lights. While the amount of lead contained in these wires is small, it is still a good idea not to ask children to hang lights and for adults to wear protective gloves when stringing the lights. 

As to candles, avoid them on trees and keep candles placed elsewhere out of reach of small children or just don’t light them up at all with children in the house. Battery operated candles can be a much safer alternative as long as they don’t heat up to the point of causing a burn if touched.

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