Blog – Disaster Preparedness

Keep safety a priority during the holidays

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…seem like a potentially dangerous situation. The holidays are a time for merriness (or at least acting as if you are happy), smells of spiced apple cider, bells, gifts, holiday parties, connecting with friends and family, eggnog, embarrassing holiday sweaters, garlands, sparkling lights and warm homes. A blazing holiday house fire can quickly mess-up your holiday plans and cheer. As you decorate, celebrate and be jolly, keep safety a top priority this holiday season.

Christmas Tree and Holiday Décor Safety

  • Keep your tree well watered.
  • Use lights designated for indoor use that are cool to the touch. Consider upgrading your holiday lights to LEDs, which stay cool.
  • Turn off all the holiday lights and animated decorations whenever you leave your house or go to bed.

Fireplace Safety

  • Use a screen around an open fireplace.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play around a fireplace.
  • Keep all combustible material away from a fireplace.
  • Do not hang stockings on the mantle if you have a fireplace without a closing door.
  • Extinguish a fire before leaving your home or going to bed.

Space Heater Safety

  • Keep space heaters 3 feet away from all walls and furniture.
  • Do not leave items, such as gifts or boxes, near space heaters.
  • Turn off the space heater when you leave the room, especially if you are leaving your home for any amount of time.
  • Do not leave a space heater on while you sleep.
  • Do not use a space heater as a blanket or towel warmer.

Other Considerations

  • Never leave candles unattended. If you are hosting a party or have a home with children and/or pets, consider using flameless, battery-operated candles.
  • If the power goes out and you do not have a fireplace, never use a barbeque grill to heat your home. Instead, stay the night at a hotel or local emergency, warming shelter. If the power is out temporarily, wait it out at a designated warming shelter or even a friend’s house.

Make this holiday memorable for the right reasons. Easy holiday practices go a long way if you follow through with them.

[photo: Laura Bittner]

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