Wish list: a safe holiday

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical is warning residents about potential fire and safety hazards during the holidays. Trees, candles, lights, and even wrapping paper can pose safety risks, said Eve Tolefree, division chief, in a statement released last week.

“In the excitement of the holidays, it’s easy to overlook things,” Tolefree said.

The department released the following safety tips. Lighting

• Inspect holiday lights to ensure they have the markings of a recognized testing lab.

• Use only lights with fused plugs.

• Check lights for frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.

• Promptly replace burned-out bulbs.

• One extension cord should be limited to three sets of lights.

• Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.

• Turn off lights when going to sleep.

• Use only insulated staples to secure outdoor lights, not nails or tacks.

• Always keep burning candles in sight.

Trees

• If buying an artificial tree, look for the “fire resistant” label.

• If buying a real tree, look for a fresh tree, characterized by green needles that are difficult to remove from branches.

• Place trees away from fireplaces and radiators.

• Keep the tree stand filled with water, as dry trees pose an additional fire risk.

Other safety tips

• Check to make sure all tree decorations are flame-resistant.

• If small children are in the home, avoid decorations with small parts or those that resemble candy.

• Do not burn wrapping paper in fireplaces, as the paper can cause a flash fire.

Tagged: holiday safety

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