It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year, but don’t let candles, candy canes, and Christmas carols deflect you from keeping yourself and your home safe this holiday season. Your beautiful decorations could turn into something much more dangerous without following proper safety procedures. 

When searching for your tree, be sure to seek out the freshest one you can find. One of the most common accidents that happen during the holidays is fires. Keep the tree away from fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters. Ensure your tree stand is sturdy, so it does not fall over. Before hanging lights on your tree, double-check that there are no cracked or frayed cords. Consider choosing LED-type lights as they do not get as warm as traditional lights. Keep your tree well-watered because it only takes a few days for the tree to dry out into kindling, which could lead to a fire. To help the tree take in a good amount of water, be sure to fresh-cut the trunk prior to placing it in its stand. Most farms and lots will do this for you. Before leaving or going to bed for the night, consider turning all lights off or putting them on a timer.

To further avoid any fire hazards this winter, check that your artificial tree is labeled “fire resistant” if opting for one this year. If decorating with candles, use fire-resistant holders, never leave a candle unattended, and never use real candles on a tree.  Always keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Children and pets may be running rampant in your home this holiday season, so it’s essential to ensure there is nothing in harm’s way. When ingested, poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly berries are poisonous to people and pets. Therefore they should be displayed out of reach or avoided altogether. Hang breakable and fragile ornaments up high, out of reach from nosy children or curious pets. Remember, chocolate (especially dark) is toxic to dogs.

Don’t let the grinch steal your holiday joy.  Keep your family safe.

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