Take Steps To Be Safe This Busy Holiday Season

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The holidays are here; an exciting, busy time of the year.

People have celebrations, decorations and shows of appreciation to friends, colleagues and family.

Unfortunately, the holidays also can be a time of tragedy.

Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat more than 8,000 people who have been injured while decorating their homes, offices and Christmas trees.

Hundreds more are injured or killed in traffic crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

More than 900 house fires kill scores of people each year nationwide, and the cause of these blazes are related to Christmas trees or holiday lights.

SCF Arizona, the sponsor of the annual Safety Works Expos statewide, promotes safety during the holidays by offering these common sense tips.

Trees

  • ook for a "Fire Resistant" label when purchasing an artificial tree
  • heck for freshness when purchasing a live tree:

-- Tree is green;

-- Needles are hard to pull from branches and do not break when they are bent;

-- Tree trunk should be sticky with resin; and

-- Tree does not lose needles when tapped on the ground

  • et the tree up away from fireplaces and radiators.
  • eep the tree stand filled with water.

lace the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. Check for the UL label to ensure the lights have been tested for safety by a recognized testing lab.

  • heck each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. (Throw out damaged sets.)
  • eplace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
  • f using an extension cord, make sure it is rated for the intended use.
  • ever use electric lights on a metallic tree. (Metal trees can become charged with electricity from faulty lights; a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.)
  • heck outdoor lights to ensure they are certified for outdoor use.
  • asten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls or other firm supports to protect them from wind. (Use only insulated staples, not nails or tacks to hold strings in place.)
  • urn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • ever pull or tug on lights.

utdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters to protect against electric shock.

  • Avoid burning candles.
  • eep burning candles in sight.
  • ever use lighted candles on a tree or other plants.
  • se non-flammable candle holders, and keep out of reach of children and pets.

Decorations

  • se only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
  • void sharp or breakable decorations.

Fireplaces:

o not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace.

  • lace a screen around your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby flammable materials.

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