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Safety Tips for The Holidays From Nationwide (653 hits)

From candles to candy and trees to toys, nearly every joyful holiday tradition also carries the potential for accidents and injuries. See these safety tips from Nationwide Insurance to help keep HBCUConnect members season merry and bright.

Safety experts say a bit of forethought and preparation can head off many common holiday mishaps. In fact, recent research indicates the worst holiday disasters, such as Christmas tree fires, actually occur before the big day, not in the cleanup phase.

Avoiding decorating disasters
Lights, outside and in, are one of the hallmarks of Christmas. But lights, especially on fresh Christmas trees, can spark fires.

National Fire Protection Association research indicates 43 percent of falls each year from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 are from ladders, and another 13 percent are from roofs. Meanwhile, holiday lights are the culprit in 150 house fires annually.

Christmas trees can catch fire even if they’re just near an open flame, sparking electrical lights, or overheated decorations, says Amy Artuso, the National Safety Council’s community and home safety specialist.

- Test electric lights and electrified decorations before putting them up. Check for worn, unsafe plugs, frayed cords and unsafe connections.
- Keep fragile ornaments on wire hangars at the top of the tree, out of reach of children.
- If you have a fresh tree, be sure to water it daily. It only takes a couple of days for un-watered trees to dry into kindling.
- Keep floor decorations corralled under the tree and not underfoot. That includes tree skirts, toy trains, decorative villages and piles of presents.
- Don’t use prickly roping on handrails, making it difficult for people to grasp the rails as they go up and down stairs.

Snuff out candle dangers
“Candles are a huge part of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa,” says Artuso. It’s easy to overlook lit candles in the bustle of getting to and from events. “Never leave home with candles lit,” says Artuso.

Statistics reinforce her concern: The National Fire Protection Association reports that 50 percent more candle fires occur in December, and fire risk more than doubles when candles are used as part of decorative arrangements. Unattended candles were a factor in nearly 20 percent of home candle fires.

Also, flameless candles should be turned off, especially when used in arrangements of greens and paper decorations. “You don’t know how hot LED candles will get,” Artuso points out.

- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
- Blow out candles when you leave the room.

Little children, big risks
Visitors, decorations and new toys introduce danger into typically safe houses.

For instance, holiday candy is everywhere. So it’s understandable that a toddler might swallow the bright blue pills he found in a relative’s purse under the dining table.

- Have visitors place their purses and backpacks in a secure location, such as a bedroom with a door that locks.
- Make sure holiday plants don’t include tempting berries. Poisonous berries can be found on mistletoe, holly and Jerusalem cherry plants.
- Always buy helmets for new bikes, skateboards and scooters so kids can hop on safely right from the start, Artuso recommends.

For more information and tips on how to keep your holidays safe, go to https://bit.ly/2NuCs3H
Posted By: Reginald Culpepper
Friday, December 14th 2018 at 5:08PM
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