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Keep aware of safety hazards during holidays

December 13, 2013
The Review

Most all of us love to decorate for the Christmas season. But it may surprise you as to the safety hazards.

Here's some statistics that are staggering.

* According to the U.S. Fire Administration, during the holidays, an estimated 128,700 fires and 1,650 injuries, along with 415 deaths, occur with close to $25.5 million in property damage.

* One in every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six Christmas tree fires.

* More than half of home candle fires occur when something than can catch on fire is too close to the candle. In the month of December, 11 percent of home candle fires begin with decorations compared to 4 percent the rest of the year.

We're not trying to overdo it with devastating statistics, we have always urged our readers to err on the side of caution.

There are some simple tips from FirstEnergy:

* Check all lights, used both outside and inside, for frayed wires.

* Take care using a ladder outdoors around overhead wires.

* Use only extension cords approved for outdoor use, and use outlets protected by ground fault interrupters.

* Turn the lights out before going to bed, or invest in a timer.

* Keep live trees well-watered.

* Never connect more than three strings of indoor lights into any extension cord.

* Don't allow lights to touch drapes, furniture or carpeting.

* and turn off all lights overnight and when no one is home.

It's always smart to have a working fire extinguisher in the home and garage, year-round, not just the holidays. Have working smoke alarms on every level of the home and test monthly, replacing batteries twice yearly.

Above all, use common sense.



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