This month we are focusing on seasonal safety tips and posting one each day on our Excel Facebook and twitter pages: https://twitter.com/#!/excelinspects
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.”
If purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. In setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
Use caution with holiday decorations and whenever possible, choose those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials. Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings and replace damaged items before plugging lights in. Do not overload extension cords.
Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
Don’t mount Christmas lights in any way that can damage the cord’s wire insulation (i.e., using clips, not nails). Lots of fires start that way!
Turn off all Christmas lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.
Keep all matches & lighters out of sight and reach of small children. Test all smoke alarms regularly, & let guests know what your fire escape plan is.
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye more on the range than the calories!
House full of Holiday guests? If you have smokers, provide plenty of ashtrays and check them frequently. Cigarette butts can smolder in the trash and cause a fire, so completely douse cigarette butts with water before discarding.
Happy Holidays and stay safe!