American Red Cross, American Red Cross New Hampshire, American Red Cross NH, Christmas and holiday season, Deck the Halls, Emergency Preparedness, Fire, Fire safety, Grinch, Holiday Safety Tips, NH Red Cross, Red Cross, Red Cross NH, safety plan, smoke detectors, Winter Wonderland
by Sara Brown, American Red Cross New Hampshire Volunteer Blog Writer with Kelly Baker, American Red Cross New Hampshire Volunteer Partner
Fa La La and Deck the Halls, the holiday season is now happily here! It’s time to pull your holiday decorations from storage and decorate your winter wonderland. However, The American Red Cross wants you to be safe while hanging mistletoe and sipping eggnog.
Here are some tips to make sure you practice good fire safety during this time of year so nothing happens that will turn you into a Grinch.
Tips for decorating your house:
*Choose decorations and artificial trees that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
* If getting a real tree, choose a fresh one and secure it in a sturdy stand. Place the tree away from heat sources and exits and water it daily.
* If hanging stockings on the fireplace, do not use the fireplace for fires.
* Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.
* Never leave lit candles unattended
* Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
* Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
* Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets.
* Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
* Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
* Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
General fire safety tips:
Keep combustibles three feet away from any heat sources including fireplaces, space heaters and stoves!
* Never smoke in bed.
* Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
* Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. Put a smoke alarm inside every bedroom.
* Test them regularly and install a new battery if there is no noise when testing. Install new batteries every year. Get new smoke alarms every ten years.
* Develop a fire escape plan for the household and practice it at least twice a year. Everyone should know two ways to escape from every room and you should designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire.