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Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Safety Tips
December 19, 2016 SNH Editorial Team

Photo courtesy of FreshHome

Christmas is right around the corner, so here are a few holiday safety tips that you really should consider this time of year. After all, the first key to a healthy home, is a safe home.

Safety Tip #1 – Watch Out For Common Fire Hazards

They are the centerpiece of holiday celebrations (trees, wreaths, and garlands), but be sure to know what to look for when out buying these items. If purchasing a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Water regularly to keep it moist. If going artificial, make sure it’s flame retardant (look for more natural, non-toxic flame retardants – if it lists formaldehyde or an unpronounceable chemical, just walk away). Also check to make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Safety Tip #2 – Candle Safety

Candles look beautiful and festive on the table and around the home, but they can be a fire hazard as well. Watch candles closely around children as they may want to touch the flame or even blow them out and splatter wax which can be very hot and burn them. Consider using a wick snuffer or tweezers to extinguish candles.  Just dip the snuffer/tweezer down into the wax just beneath the surface and gently draw it up pinching the wick until the flame is extinguished. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

Safety Tip #3 – Kitchen Safety

Keep an eye on what you are cooking. Cooking is the leading cause of fires and the holidays are especially dangerous, because we’re entertaining and cooking even more and can easily be distracted by other happenings around the home. It’s not just deep fried turkeys either, make sure to keep anything that can catch on fire away from your stove top. Most importantly, never leave anything unattended. Grease fires are intense. Never use water when trying to extinguish the flame. It won’t work. It’s best to have a fire extinguisher somewhere in your kitchen and know how to use them. Generally speaking you should use a non-glass lid or baking sheet (for stove-top fires), use salt or baking soda (for oven fires) and use a non-water based fire extinguisher for stove-top or oven fires.

Safety Tip #4 – Teach Children Safety

A roaring fire or glowing candles can add to the holiday atmosphere, but can also peak your children’s curiosity. Think about what most kids do every year – blow out birthday candles – so candles can be fascinating to them. Teach them about the dangers of fire and help them understand the consequences of playing with matches or lighters.

Safety Tip #5 – Be Prepared

Make sure you have smoke alarms. Test them and replace the batteries.  Smart technology offers a better solution with multiple sensors and alerts for smoke, heat, carbon monoxide, flood, and freeze. One of the newest, high-tech networks available is the OmniShield. It’s a smart product which is interconnected with an app that gives you the ability to see danger inside your home, anytime and anywhere. It alerts you with low frequency speakers, bed shakers, LED icons as well as emails and text. Plus it has a 20 year battery life. All of this means you no longer have to worry about replacing the batteries or wake up to that annoying chirping noise in the middle of the night. Other products include the new OneLink smoke and carbon monoxide detector from FirstAlert that is integrated with Apple HomeKit. Any of these technologies that alert you to potential danger when home or away is a critical safety step for any time of the year.