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Drew: Top Holiday Safety Tips

By Samuetta Hill Drew

Christmas 2019 is a mere six days away. Most of you have prepared your menus, scheduled your holiday trips, mailed your Christmas cards, strung your Christmas lights, decorated your trees and wrapped your gifts.

Christmas holidays are filled with all sorts of fun and frolic, but safety remains an important topic in all the preparation to help keep you, your home and family safe. With this in mind, let’s highlight some of the top holiday safety tips.

Electrical Safety:
• Pay attention to your wires by carefully inspecting holiday lights and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections.
• Make sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb when replacing bulbs in your string of lights.
• Always turn off the holiday lights when leaving your home unattended or when sleeping.
• Make sure you select the right types of lights. Some are only for indoor use.
• Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International.
• Never connect more than one extension cord together.
• Keep outdoor lights away from electrical connectors, off the ground, away from metal gutters.
Christmas Tree Safety:
• Pay attention to your wires. Forty percent of tree fires are caused by some type of electrical problems.
• Keep your tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, etc.
• If using a live tree, make sure it is always watered.
• Don’t leave wrapped presents visible to the public.
Cooking Safety:
• Never leave your food unattended. Unattended food on the stove is the most common cause of kitchen fires especially when frying.\
• Be careful if you’re frying a turkey. Fifty-three percent of home cooking fires are ignited by turkey fat, grease or oil. Follow the cooking instructions and
FEMA safety guidelines.
• Completely thaw your turkey before frying.
• Make sure you are aware of any food allergies of your guests.
• Invest in a meat thermometer to make sure large food items like turkeys are thoroughly cooked.
Candle Safety:
• Keep lit candles away from wrapping paper.
• Make sure you use properly weighted candle holders. Christmas Day has 2.8 times more fires than any other time of the year.
• Keep lit candles out of the reach of children and pets.
• Blow candles out before they burn all the way down.
• Consider using fake candles which offer the same resulted effect.
Holiday Travel:
• If you’re traveling by vehicle in a cold part of the country be prepared for snowy or stormy weather by making sure your tires are in good condition (proper tire tread). You may want to invest in tire chains.
• Have an emergency car kit which should include, but not limited to blankets, nonperishable food, water, flares, flashlights, cell phone car charger and an
alternate communication device with batteries, if needed.
• Make sure you have your family communication plan in place before traveling.
• A trustworthy family member or friend not traveling with you should have a copy of your passport, driver’s license, insurance card and key contact

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season, but remember to always Keep an Eye on Safety!