Home safety tips from A-Z

Always buy the freshest live tree you can find. If it’s losing needles when you purchase it, the issue won’t improve as it stands in your home.

Broken ornaments and decorations should be rapidly cleaned up to avoid human or pet skin lacerations.

Christmas trees (live) are the source of around 240 home fires each year. Make sure yours is kept watered and away from any open flames and/or heating sources.

Deep-fried turkey is becoming a tradition among many Americans, whether for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. But be careful and only use deep fryers after reading the safely instructions. They can cause serious damages to people and property.

Electrical outlets should not be overloaded. If you need extra sockets, invest in a good surge protector instead of plugging your lights and holiday decorations directly into the wall. Alternatively, hire a professional electrician to add outlets to your home.

Falls from ladders increase during the holidays (when individuals are hanging lights and other decorations.) Never use a “rickety” ladder, and always make sure someone else is available to help you decorate when using a ladder.

Get rid of debris, ice and other items from walkways.

Have your fireplace professionally cleaned and inspected before using it this year.

Inspect your holiday lights each year before hanging them. Discard any that no longer work or are inappropriate for your intended usage (e.g., indoor-only lights being used outside.)

Just say “no” if your family starts to get stressed out with holiday commitments. Remember – this is a time of year to have fun together, not to become exhausted.

Keep choking dangers (e.g., small ornaments, tiny decorations) away from children and pets.

Lit candles should never be left unattended. All it takes is a moment for a candle to tip over and an item to catch fire.

Make certain any items purchased (e.g., for presents, for decorations) have not been recalled.

Needles that have fallen from the Christmas tree should not be allowed to pile up, creating a fire hazard. Remove them each day.

Only flame retardant and non-flammable decorations should be used in your home. This will help avoid any kind of fire hazard.

Poinsettias are beautiful, seasonal plants; however, they can be poisonous to pets, as can holly and mistletoe. If you have dogs, cats or other animals that might find a way to eat your plants, it’s best not to have the plants in the house.

Quickly put up any foods (especially chocolate or alcohol) within reach of nosy pets, both of which can be poisonous to cats and dogs. (Don’t give in to “begging” behavior, either.)

Refrigerate any leftovers promptly to lessen the risk of food poisoning.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be in proper working order for maximum security this holiday season.

Turn all your holiday lights out, turn your decorations off and blow out all candles before you leave your house or head to bed.

Undo any knots in the strings of your lights before plugging them in.

Verify that any holiday party houseguests are at least 21 years old before you allow them to drink alcoholic beverages.

Wrapping paper should be discarded properly. It should never be thrown into the fireplace, as the inks on the paper can cause toxic fumes.

eXits should be accessible at all times, so don’t decorate in such a way as to make them unavailable in an emergency.

Yuletide goodies are tempting, but try not to overeat. Gaining weight will only create problems.

Get your Zzzzzs. Sure, holidays are fun, but everyone – kids AND adults – need to stay on track with sleep schedules!

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