Enjoy the holidays, without a trip to the ER

Young woman wearing hardhat and safety glasses plugging in Christmas tree lights

The holidays are here! Will you be celebrating with holiday lights, Christmas trees, ornaments and other decorations? Here are some important safety tips to help you avoid being one of the estimated 15,000 people who will experience a home fire or end up in the ER this holiday season.

Take care with candles. Never leave candles unattended. Keep burning candles in sight, away from places where kids and pets can reach them or knock them over. Lit candles should be placed away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.

Inspect your holiday lights. Purchase your lights from a reputable retailer. Check lights for the mark of an independent safety testing laboratory. Examine new and old lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Do not use damaged light sets.

Keep live trees hydrated. Each year, hundreds of home fires nationwide are caused by live trees igniting, resulting in nearly one dozen deaths, dozens of injuries and approximately $16 million in property losses. Take steps to avoid a tree fire. Check for freshness when purchasing a live tree. The needles should be hard to pull from branches and shouldn’t break when bent. Preserve your tree while it is in your home by placing it away from heat sources, such as fireplaces or heating vents.

Be careful with ladders. Each year, many people are rushed to emergency rooms after falling from ladders. Read  “Ladder Safety 101” for tips to prevent ladder falls this season.

Buy age-appropriate toys. Play it safe this holiday season. Avoid toys with small parts for children younger than the age of 3. Make sure you’re purchasing toys that are age-appropriate. Don’t forget to include safety gear if you’re gifting a bicycle, scooter or other sports equipment.