Some tips to keep you safe as you make a festive holiday home:
1. Use battery-operated candles. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended, keep them away from anything that could burn and place them out of reach from children and pets.
2. Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren't frayed or broken. Don't string too many strands of lights together -- no more than three per extension cord.
3. When decorating outside, make sure decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
4. If buying an artificial tree, look for the fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat.
5. If getting a live tree, make sure it's fresh and water it to keep it fresh. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.
6. Don't use electric lights on metallic trees.
7. If hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel, don't light the fireplace.
8. Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
9. If using older decorations, check their labels. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.
10. If using a ladder, be extra careful. Make sure to have good, stable placement and wear shoes that allow for good traction.
Also, test your smoke alarms and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone in the household can get out in 2 minutes or less. Visit redcross.org/homefires.
For more information and free resources -- or download the free Red Cross Emergency App -- visit redcross.org/apps.
- Report submitted by Red Cross
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