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Preventing Holiday Disasters: Holiday Safety Tips

Winter holidays bring fun and celebration with family and friends, but they can also bring hazardous situations that can cause injuries if you are not careful.  Trees, decorations, presents and fireplaces all present numerous hazards this time of year.  Below is a list of safety tips to keep in mind during the holidays so that you and your family can have a safe and happy holiday season.
  • Choose flame-resistant, flame-retardant and non-combustible holiday decorations.
  • Keep candles away from decorations, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
  • Carefully inspect new and previously used holiday lights, and replace damaged items before plugging lights in.
  • Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree since the tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights which could result in electrocution.
  • Plug all outdoor electric decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters.
  • Turn off all lights when they cannot be monitored.
  • If there are young children in the home, avoid using breakable decorations or those with sharp edges.
  • When cooking, keep an eye on the stovetop as cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the country.
  • Make sure that artificial trees are labeled “fire-resistant.”
  • Place trees away from fireplaces, radiators and portable heaters.
  • Be sure to keep trees well-watered so that they don’t dry out.
  • Use a heavy tree base so that the tree won’t tip over easily.  You may want to consider temporarily affixing the tree to the wall or other immovable object.
  • Before lighting a fire in a fireplace, remove all greens, papers and other decorations from the surrounding area and make sure that the flue is open.
  • Never burn wrapping paper in a fireplace as a flash fire can result when wrappings ignite suddenly.
  • Keep poinsettias out of the reach of children and pets, as they are known to be poisonous to humans and animals.
  • Avoid using tinsel as children and pets may ingest it and choke.
  • Keep ribbons shorter than 7 inches to avoid choking hazards.
  • Avoid mittens with strings as children can get the string tangled around their neck.
  • Do not leave children or pets unattended around space heaters or fireplaces.
  • If you plan to travel for the holidays, don’t discuss your plans with strangers and arrange for a trusted friend or neighbor to check in on our home while you are away.
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

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