Saturday, December 27, 2008

Safety Saturdays: Holiday Safety

Most of this advice is common sense, but some of it may be new to you. And remember, common sense isn't so common anymore!

Fresh Tree Safety:
-Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 litres of water and top it up daily
-Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace or heating duct
-Make sure the tree does not block doors or windows (so it doesn't block you from an exit during an emergency)
-Never use lighted candles on the tree (honestly, that should not be a surprise)
-Remove the tree once it starts to dry out

-Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive
-Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes (this combination is highly combustible)
-Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree because if they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard (I'll be honest, I never thought of that)

-Use properly certified light strings/sets (CSA, ULC, or other appropriately certified)
-Use the proper lights for the environment: make sure your outdoor lights are actually safe for outdoor use
-Inspect light strings/set before use: check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty
-Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees (a faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact)
-Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house

-Place candles away from absoutely anything that could catch fire
-Never leave burning candles unattended
-Put candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets

The Fireplace:
-Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace (they burn rapidly and generate too much heat)
-Don't hang Christmas stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use
-Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks
-Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire (again, I hope this advice does not come as a surprised)
-Use only seasoned and dried wood
-Never leave the fire unattended or let it smolder
-Don't use Christmas trees for firewood

Be safe this holiday season!

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