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Keeping The Holidays Safe
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By MVFA Webmaster
December 7, 2021

Holiday Safety Tips:
-Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of children.
-If children are participating in Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Advent candle-lighting ceremonies in your home, make sure they are being supervised by an adult.
-Practice your Operation E.D.I.T.H Plan during the holidays. Visiting friends and family members will need to know two ways out if there is a fire emergency in your home.
-Use only decorative lights that have been tested for safety. Look for the UL Label from Underwriters Laboratories on the light cords.
-Check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and/or loose connections. If there is any question about the safety of the light set, it should be thrown away.
-Check the labels on the light set for inside or outside use. Never use inside lights outside. Be sure to fasten your outside light sets tightly so they will not be damaged by the wind. The wind can cause the wires to fray and break.
-Read the manufacturers instructions carefully. Do not use more than the recommended number of lights on a circuit.
-Always turn off your lights on trees or on paper decorations before going out or going to bed. If there is a short circuit, a fire may start.
-Keep children away from decorative lights and electrical decorations.
-Always throw wrapping paper away immediately after opening a package.
-Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. The paper can catch fire very quickly and cause a flash fire.
-Never use candles on a tree, near evergreens, near paper decorations, and near wrapping paper.
-Always use non-flammable candle-holders, Kinara, Advent wreaths, and Menorahs.
-Always place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over. Don't forget about them. If candles are in a centerpiece on your holiday table, don't let them melt down into the decorations. That may cause a fire.
-IMPORTANT: Make sure your emergency phone numbers are placed next to or on the telephone. Make sure that everyone knows where they are.
-Check your fire extinguisher to be sure that it is full and working properly. Make sure that everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

Christmas Tree Safety:

Christmas Trees:
-A real tree can add to the spirit of Christmas by filling your home with beauty and the scent of pine. But a real tree can also pose a fire hazard. Each year, more than 400 residential fires involve Christmas trees and tragically nearly 40 deaths and 100 injuries result from those fires.
-Try to select a fresh tree by looking for one that is green. The needles of pines and spruces should bend and not break and should be hard to pull off the branches. On fir species, a needle pulled from a fresh tree will snap when bent, much like a fresh carrot. Also, look for a trunk sticky with sap.
-Cut off about two inches of the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
-Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
-If you use an artificial tree, choose one that tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.

Tree lights:
-Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
-Also, use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs.
-Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

Tree ornaments:
-Always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places.
-Read labels before you use materials that come in jars, cans and spray cans.
-Never place lighted candles on a tree or near any flammable materials.
-Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.
-Do not hang popcorn chains and candy canes on the tree when small children are present. They may think that other tree ornaments are also edible.

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