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10 Holiday Safety Tips For You and Your Family

The winter holiday season is traditionally a festive and eventful time of year. Celebrations, family gatherings and visits from house guests often increase in number during the season. One of the funniest scenes in the movie A Christmas Story involves the dad plugging yet another cord into an overtaxed outlet and blowing a fuse.

In real life, electrical hazards are nothing to laugh about. Unfortunately, statistics show that incidents of home fires and electrical accidents increase during winter months. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 30 percent of home fires and 38 percent of deaths due to home fires occur during the months of December, January, and February.

At Faith Technologies, our number one Core Value is an uncompromised focus on keeping people safe, and we take planned, measured steps on our jobsites to help ensure our employees’ safety. There are things you can do, too, during the holiday season to help keep yourself and your family safe; here are ten tips from NFPA:

  1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
  2. Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.
  3. Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. More than three strands may not only blow a fuse, but can also cause a fire.
  4. Keep cut trees fresh by watering daily. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.
  5. If you enjoy candles, use battery-operated versions. Lit candles start almost half of home decoration fires.
  6. Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources. A heat source that was too close to the decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations.
  7. Protect cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.
  8. Check decorations for certification labels. Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.
  9. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.
  10. Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house. Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Please keep these safety tips in mind, and enjoy the holidays with your family.