Indoor Christmas Decoration Safety

Decoration SafetyHoliday decorations are a tradition that adds to the wonder of the season, but they can also increase the potential risks of fire and injuries if not used safely and your holiday wish list probably doesn’t include a trip to the hospital. Here are a few indoor decoration safety tips to ensure you have a safe holiday season.

Christmas Tree Safety

A Christmas tree can generally remain fire resistant throughout the season if you follow a few simple steps:

  • Trim the trunk 2-4 inches above the original cut to allow moisture into the foliage
  • Moisture is the primary key for keeping your tree fresh and increasing its fire resistance, so put the trunk in water immediately after re-cutting it. Remember to check the water levels daily and never let the water level go below the trunk bottom.
  • The Christmas tree should be placed away from heat sources, including wood stoves, fireplaces and heater outlets.
  • Keep in mind that even an artificial tree can catch on fire, so use the same precautions for artificial trees as you would for a live tree.
  • Use care when hanging ornaments on your tree. Keep pet and child decoration safety in mind by placing non-toxic and unbreakable ornaments on the lowest branches of the tree. For extra safety, consider replacing metal hooks with ribbon to prevent the risk of choking and/or injury.
  • Never leave a lighted tree unattended

Lights and Decorations

First and foremost, choose decorations that are flame retardant or flame resistant. It is also important to keep decorations away from windows, doors and sources of heat. Use lights that have a label verifying laboratory testing and safety. Be sure to only use indoor lights inside and check all electrical cords to make sure they don’t have frayed wires or broken sockets. Other light safety tips include:

  • Do not link more than 3 strands of lights, unless the instructions indicate that it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t leave lights turned on unattended or for prolonged periods of time.
  • There are several styles of Christmas lights to choose from, but keep in mind that LED lights produce virtually no heat, so they are typically the safest option.

Use the Appropriate Outlets

Read the label that is attached to all light strands and other wired decorations to make sure you will be using the appropriate wattage levels. Check all decorations and lights before installing or plugging them in. Do not use any lighted decorations or lights that have frayed or bare wires or loose connections as this may pose a shock or fire hazard. Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many lights and/or decorations, because they can overheat and cause a fire.

Fire Safety

  • Don’t smoke out your family, your guests or Santa by having a dirty chimney.
  • Have your wood burning stove and/or fireplace inspected and cleaned once a year to prevent the risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • It’s also best to avoid throwing wrapping paper in the fireplace, because a flash fire can start due to the wrappings suddenly igniting.
  • If you like to burn candles, keep in mind that appropriate placement is essential. Keep candles away from paper, walls, curtains, clothing and curtains. Make sure to blow out candles before leaving a room and warn children to keep away from burning candles.
Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No sitting in the hospital emergency Waiting room when you are sick.

Keep Safe Over the Holidays: Don’t Drink and Drive

drink and driveThe holidays are meant to be joyous and filled with cheer. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most common times of the year for crashes due to drinking and driving. During 2016, in the state of Texas there were 987 fatalities that resulted from drinking and driving, with 163 alcohol-related crashes and injuries occurring in Denton.

In the United States, there are more alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the holidays than during any other time of the year. Whether you are hosting this year’s celebration or you are planning on attending an event where alcohol will be served, here are a few tips to help you and/or your guests get home safe by choosing not to drink and drive.

Plan Ahead

Whether you are attending an ugly sweater party or hosting this year’s New Year’s Eve party, the time to plan for a safe trip to and from the event is not during the party or after the party-it’s before the party even begins.

If walking home or spending the night isn’t an option, do a little research in advance to learn about the available options in your community.

Choose a Designated Driver

If you are planning on celebrating the holidays by drinking alcoholic beverages, one of the most important things to do before arriving at the event is to have a designated driver.

Make sure everyone in your group agrees ahead of time on who the designated driver will be. Keep in mind that, as a designated driver, drinking no amount of alcohol is a safe amount when you are responsible for getting yourself and/or others home safely.

Be a Responsible Host

If you are hosting a holiday event that includes drinking alcoholic beverages, do not automatically assume that your guests will have made safe travel plans. Have plenty of alcohol-free beverages and snacks available and be aware of how much your guests are drinking and that all pre-designated drivers don’t have any alcohol.

Before the celebrations begin, make sure there will be a sober driver available to make as many trips as necessary to get your guests home safely. If you aren’t able to have a “sober driver” plan, make sure to have the phone numbers available for cabs, Uber or other forms of sober transportation or make your home available for guests to spend the night.

 

You may do everything right by planning ahead, by arranging for or being the designated driver, but that can’t stop other people who choose to drink and drive from crashing into your vehicle. To reduce the risk of a serious accident, try to avoid driving in areas where there are greater chances of encountering a drunk driver, such as near a university or where there are several clubs grouped together.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.