In an effort to better protect families this holiday, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety science company, offers families some guidelines on how to have a safe holiday season:
Check your decorations and lights, check them twice:
· Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard.
· When purchasing electrical decorations, make sure to shop at a reputable retailer and look for the UL mark. Lights intended for indoor-only use bear green holographic UL Marks, whereas lights intended for indoor and outdoor use bear red holographic UL Marks.
Avoid Overloading Sockets:
· Too many holiday decorations and lights could overload outlets, extension cords or power strips – always pay attention to the acceptable wattage.
· Remember to remove the plug by reaching up and pulling it out of the socket rather than yanking on the cord. Cords should also not be placed underneath anything that is heavy nor should they be tacked to a wall to get them out of the way.
Be flame aware:
· Always blow out candles when leaving a room even if only for a short period of time, and teach your children to stay away from lit candles or fireplaces. Flames can reach up to 1,000-degrees Fahrenheit
· Don’t place candles near curtains, bedding, paper, walls or any combustible materials.
· Use a sturdy, non-combustible candleholder that can collect drippings and won’t tip over.
· Extinguish a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or a half-inch if the candle is in a container. This prevents heat damage to the surface and stops glass containers from breaking.
Water your tree:
· Dry trees pose a substantial fire risk because they tend to burn quicker than well watered trees. After bringing your tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk before putting it in a sturdy stand. Be sure to water it daily. To ensure your tree is properly watered, firmly grasp a branch and gently pull the needles with your hand to see if they break-away.Please let me know if you would like to talk with John Drengenberg, UL Consumer Safety Director, who can provide a complete list of safety tips and talk with you further about how to safely decorate this holiday season.