As the Christmas and New Year's holidays approach, Waste Management is encouraging Payson residents and businesses to plan ahead for changes relating to trash pick-up schedules in their neighborhoods.
There will be no service Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25. Instead, these services will be delayed by one day with service resuming Wednesday, Dec. 26.
In addition, there will be no service New Year's Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008. Instead, these services will be delayed by one day with service resuming Wednesday, Jan. 2.
For more information on Waste Management holiday service, call (800) 796-9696.
Recent reports show that that residents throw away 25 percent more rubbish during Christmas and New Year's Day than any other time of the year.
The Waste Management Health and Safety Team shares these tips for a safe, healthy holiday season:
Be careful this holiday at home
Be careful when decorating your home. Hospital emergency rooms treat about 12,800 people a year for falls, cuts and electrical shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees.
Christmas trees are involved in about 400 fires annually, resulting last year in 20 deaths, 70 injuries and an average of more than $15 million in property loss and damage.
There are 10,000 candle-related fires that occur each year. Keep matches, lighters and candles away from children and never leave burning candles unattended.
If you use an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled "fire resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and when bent between your fingers needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground the tree should not lose many needles.
When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
Make sure lights are tested
Use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards.
Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Throw away damaged sets.
Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be shocked or electrocuted.
Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks, or run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire when unattended.
For added protection, plug outdoor lights/decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. A qualified electrician can install GFCIs permanently.
Use only noncombustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
Keep trimmings with small, removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation if decorating with artificial snow sprays.
Use care with "fire salts" which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation if consumed. Keep them away from children.
Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.