Holiday Safety (holidaysafety)

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Holiday Safety

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here. Families are working together to make their home and neighborhood festive for the season. As you decorate or prepare for the holidays, it is important to keep safety at the top of the list. Follow all manufacturer directions when using lights and other decorations. With the many outside blow up and other types of decorations using electricity, one must use the correct extension cords and hook ups. Most lights should not have more than three sets of lights connected together.

Holiday Safety Tips:

* Plan for safety. Check your smoke detectors and review your family fire escape plan.

* Select indoor and outdoor lights tested by a recognized testing laboratory.

* Check light strings for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.

* Use automatic timers to set time lights should be on and off. It is best not to leave lights on overnight.

* Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, or wall.

* Select non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations.

* When selecting a tree, select a "fire resistant" artificial tree or a fresh real tree.

* Place trees away from fireplaces, wood burning stoves and other heat sources.

* Keep real trees watered to preserve freshness.

* Use caution when decorating and burning candles. Be sure all candles are out when going to bed or leaving the house. Keep candles out of the reach of children.

Dispose of ashes and embers properly. Leave ashes and embers in the appliance for several hours to let them cool. When cool, remove with a metal scoop and place in a metal container with a lid, not a cardboard box or with other trash. Store outside, away from the house, until proper disposal.

Remove all wrapping paper and packing materials once the gifts are opened. Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

If you leave during the holidays, have a neighbor or friend check your home and take in the papers and mail or have them stopped. Set lights on timers so it looks like someone is home.

Remember to practice safety during the holidays and always use common sense when decorating and celebrating.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was updated November 2007 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
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