Tips For A Safer Holiday Season

Nov 8, 2011

By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee

The holidays are a time to reconnect with family and friends, but they also can present seasonal safety hazards. Here are some tips to help you entertain safely in your home this holiday season.

Water your Christmas tree. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tree-related fires cause an average of 17 deaths and $13 million of property damage each year. In 7 to 10 seconds, a dry tree can become engulfed with flames as high as 30 feet, as seen in this clip from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dry branches can act as tinder, causing sparks to fly out into your living space or up the chimney. To help keep your tree fresh, the National Christmas Tree Association recommends adding one quart of water per day for each inch of the trunkís diameter.

Make sure your home is childproof. Keep decorations with small parts out of kidsí reach. Avoid decorating your tree with items that are food-inspired, such as popcorn strands. A child may pull them down and attempt to eat them. And be sure your child doesnít have access to dangerous plants. Mistletoe, holly berries and Jerusalem cherries can be poisonous if consumed in large amounts.

Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Broken or exposed wires can cause metallic trees to become electrically charged so they shock or electrocute. Instead, opt for colored lights attached to the ceiling or wall that can shine on the tree.

Extinguish candles before leaving the house or going to bed. On average, candle-related fires cause 150 deaths and $385 million in property damage each holiday season. One-half of those deaths occur between midnight and 6 a.m. from candles that were forgotten and continued to burn. Always place candles in stable holders and keep them in safe areas where they will not be accidentally toppled over.

Donít let your garbage advertise your new gadgets. Make sure to recycle the boxes of any expensive items you received over the holidays. Setting out a box with the picture of a giant TV on it is a prime invitation for burglars.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission offers even more tips to help keep your holidays safe.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

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