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'Tis the Season for Holiday Safety

How to keep your tree from catching fire and other safety tips for the holiday season.

‘Tis the time of year to be merry and jolly with loved ones. It is also important to always keep safety in mind while traveling or hosting, and below are a few reminders from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and National Fire Protection Association to help you enjoy the holiday season :

  • Many home burglaries occur during this time of year; keep window shades drawn and doors locked when at all possible.
  • Keep your Christmas tree hydrated by keeping the water in the stand well above the fresh cut bottom of the trunk.
  • Unplug the lights and decorations when you are not home, or they are otherwise not in use.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.
  • Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.
  • Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
  • Keep holiday plants away from children and pets. Mistletoe, holly berries, and Christmas cactus are poisonous if swallowed.
  • After your gifts are opened, quickly dispose of all plastic wrappings, ribbons, and bows that can be easily swallowed by curious pets.
    • Carry only one or two credit cards with you while shopping. Keep the credit card emergency numbers in a separate place, or leave a spare copy at home. Syndicates who specialize in credit cards have been known to use up the card limit within an hour. Report the loss at once. 

Tired of the same, old stocking stuffers? Below are a few unique safety gift ideas:

  • Smoke detectors and batteries
  • A quality fire extinguisher
  • A flashlight and batteries or light sticks
  • A first-aid kit
  • A carbon Monoxide detector
  • A mobile phone
  • A second floor escape ladder
  • "Emergency kit"- energy bars, water, battery radio, flashlight/light sticks and a first-aid kit packed in a small travel bag

As always, when in doubt, 911 is at your finger tips. And, remember…Every Second Counts.

Reema Makani Boccia is the public relations manager for Rural/Metro Ambulance.

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