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Holiday Safety -

Don’t let the Holidays be hazardous to your health! As we come into the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years season, we need to be especially aware of the potential additional hazards we may expose to. Among those are:

1. Electrical Hazards. With all of the Christmas tree lights, window candles, and outside decorations, electrical circuits can quickly become overloaded and cause short circuits and electrical fires. All extension cords should be inspected for frayed wires or loose plugs. Using a frayed extension cord is an invitation for a fire and should be replaced, not repaired. Make sure the extension cord you are using is the right wire sized for the job required. Extension cords should not run under rugs or carpets, as the traffic walking over them will eventually wear out the insulation and create a fire hazard.

2. Fire Hazards. Extreme care should be applied when using wax candles. They should be used only with adequate clearance from flammable materials and should be installed in candle bases which will not allow tipping. Wax candles should never be placed on tree branches or window sills. Christmas tree lights sets and artificial candles should be replaced if they show signs of wearing out or fraying. A fire in the fireplace can be a great mood setter, don’t let it turn a romantic evening into a nightmare. Be sure fireplace screens are in place to prevent sparks from flying out into the room and igniting rugs, furniture, or wrapping paper. Chimneys should be inspected for creosote build-up and cleaned as necessary – at least once a season. Wood stoves should comply with the minimum required clearance from combustible materials.

3. Ladders. When using ladders to hang holiday decorations, the same consideration should be given to ladder safety at home as the job. A FALL IS A FALL!! Make sure the ladder is on a firm base. Inspect ladders before use. Don’t stand on the top step of stepladders.

4. Drinking and driving don’t mix. If you are planning to attend a holiday party, either volunteer to be the designated driver or pick a driver who will abstain from alcoholic beverages for the evening. If you are hosting a party, don’t let your friends drive drunk. Arrange for a driver or call a taxi.

Follow these few safety tips and have a happy, healthy and safe Holiday Season.

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