The Medford family and our employees and associates want to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and safe holiday season. When you get caught up in the hustle and bustle and make your holiday lists, please don’t leave off safety. According to the US Products Safety commission, holiday fires cause more than $18 million dollars in property damage, and decorating sends more than 13,000 to emergency rooms each year. Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones avoid becoming a holiday accident statistic:
- If you choose a live tree, make a fresh cut on the base before putting it in a sturdy stand and then check the stand daily to be sure it is full of water. Keep the tree at least three feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces and radiators. Be sure the tree doesn’t block pathways.
- Be careful with lights; don’t use damaged or worn light strings. Be sure the exterior lights are plugged into a GFIC plug. Make sure the cords are not in traffic paths so that no one trips. Make sure the cords are rated for the load you are putting on them.
- Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms near all the sleeping areas. Put fresh batteries in the existing ones.
- Plan an escape route. Be mentally aware of two escape routes from each room in the house. Move furniture and bushes as needed to ensure a quick and safe escape from fire.
- If you have to use candles, be aware and cautious. Teach the young ones to stay away from candles and be sure highly flammable items like wrapping paper aren’t nearby.
- Reuse wrapping paper. Burning wrapping paper in the fireplace causes an intense heat flash fire that isn’t good for your fireplace. Don’t clutter up the landfills with it, fold it up and reuse it next year.
- Be safe with decorations. Cords should not be run under carpets or tacked-up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be choking hazards for children, so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.
- Be careful using social media. Announcing your absence from your home for a holiday trip—even if it’s just for an evening—can make you a target for burglars.
- Be careful on those ladders and stools. We are all getting older, so know your limitations and don’t be afraid to ask for help hanging decorations.
- Keep in close touch with trusted neighbors so you can look out for one another.
Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season, and please be safe!