As the nation gears up to decorate their homes for the holiday season, the Guilford Fire Department wants residents to be aware of decorating dangers and provides tips for a safe holiday.
Holiday decorating-related injuries:
14,700 holiday decorating related ER-treated injuries. That’s an average of about 240 injuries per day during the holiday season of November and December!
The most frequent holiday decorating incidents involved falls (41%), lacerations (10%) and back strains (5%).
3 deaths involving ladder falls.
Be careful with holiday decorations.
Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
• Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
• Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
• Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
• Keep decorations away from windows and doors. Holiday Entertaining
• Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
• Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
• Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
• Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
• Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
• Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
Trees and Decorations
1.Buying a live tree?
Check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, its needles are hard to pull from branches, and its needles do not break when bent between your fingers. The bottom of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
2. Setting up a tree at home?
Place it away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, vents, and radiators. Heated rooms rapidly dry out live trees, be sure to monitor water levels daily and keep the tree stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of foot traffic and do not block doorways with the tree.
3. Buying an artificial tree?
Look for the label: “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean that the tree will not catch fire, the tree is more resistant to catching fire.
4. Decorating a tree in homes with small children?
Avoid sharp or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of small children who could swallow or inhale small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to try to eat them.
For more information, please contact The Office of The Fire Marshal at 201-453-8056.