It is that time of year again, Christmas is literally only a few short days away and the New Year is right around the corner. With all the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season it is easy to get caught up visiting with friends and family and forget about simple safety tips. According to ESFi statistics show that “incidents of residential fires and electrical accidents typically increase during the winter holiday season.” Electrical Codes and Standards Institute (ECSTI) wants you and your family to be safe this year and compiled a list of safety tips for you this Christmas.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree – Water it!
According to a recent survey done by the NFPA, “Christmas trees were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 210 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an annual average of seven civilian fire deaths, 19 civilian fire injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage.” To avoid becoming one of those statists make sure you water your tree frequently, place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources. For those of you who prefer an artificial tree look for the label “Fire Resistant.”
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) found that:
- 69% of people do not turn off their indoor holiday lighted decorations before leaving their home.
- 75% of people do not turn off their indoor Christmas lights before going to bed.
- 60% of homes do not inspect their extension cords annually.
- 68% of people reported that they keep their outdoor lights on when they leave their homes.
Mice are Stirring All Year Round.
Decorating the house is a big tradition in my family, our goal is to make our home become a cheerful gingerbread house for all to see. When bringing lights down from the attic or garage be sure to inspect the wires and cords for damage before using. Double check your decorations for rodent damage and cord decay before setting up. Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Make sure when stringing lights as using extension cords you always use the ones marked for outdoor use.
ECSTI hopes that you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Remember to store all your holiday decorations in a cool dry place, always unplug decorations by using the gripping area, and be sure to separate outdoor decorations from indoor ones.
See you all in 2016!!
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