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Fire Prevention: Holiday Risks

This time of year, you have a lot to think about in addition to your regular work responsibilities. Since it’s easy to get distracted as you scramble between work and the pending holiday hustle and bustle, we wanted to make sure you don’t forget about fire safety, which is especially important this time of year with all of the extra electricity being used. Here are some key things to keep in mind to help protect your home and business from disruptive and potentially deadly fires related to holiday decorations:

Be Mindful of Decoration Hazards
  • Make sure your decorative lights and extension cords include the label of an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Be mindful of electrical outlet loads: follow manufacturers safety instructions and don’t add more than one high-wattage appliance to a single outlet. 
  • Follow manufacturers instructions about limits on connecting light strands.
  • Don’t cover cords with carpet, rugs or anything else, and don’t place them near heat sources.
  • Keep an eye out for damage to lights, cords and electronic decorations. Stop using products that appear crimped, cracked, frayed, worn or broken, and/or that are hot to the touch. 
 Maintain a Safe Christmas Tree
  • Assign someone to water live Christmas trees daily and monitor them for signs of drying.
  • Place trees at least several feet from heat sources that could contribute to drying or potentially ignite them.
  • Consider low-voltage lights and decorations and follow the electrical safety tips above.
  • When needles start dropping, recycle the tree. 
Remember the Off Switch
  • Turn off decorations when you leave your office or home or go to bed. 
  • If any portable space heaters are in use, plug them directly into a wall outlet and ask people to always turn off space heaters when they leave a room unattended and especially when they leave for the night or weekend. 
Season’s Greetings
Following these tips will help you celebrate the season more safely and stay focused on what matters most to you at this time of year!
 

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