Common holiday hazards to be on the lookout for

Blogs | 19 Dec, 2019 |

With seasonal festivities in full swing, you can take a few simple precautions to steer clear of holiday hazards and make sure your holidays don’t turn hazardous, say Banner Health safety experts.

“During the holidays, we have a lot of fires unfortunately,’’ says Tracey Fejt (pronounced f-ate), trauma prevention coordinator for Banner Children’s.Fejt works with teams at Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

There is a grim co-relation between Christmas trees and household fires: Christmas tree fires happen in roughly 200 homes every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Nearly half of those fires happened because trees weren’t watered; a quarter occured because trees were placed too close to a heat source. Unfortunately, one spark from a tree can ignite a room in seconds.

There are other dangers to be careful of during the holidays, as well, Fejt says.

“There’s poisonings and everyone is rushing around so it is important even though you are rushing around to put the kids in their car seats because we do see motor-vehicle crashes unfortunately because more people are out during the holidays,’’ she says.

Fejt and her team of safety experts gives these tips in decorating the house for the holidays.

• Minimize fire danger by making sure you select a safe Christmas tree: When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness.

• Put the tree in a secure spot: When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters.

• Keep the tree hydrated: For fresh trees, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.

• Use the right kind of lighting: Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks.

• Use the right kind of equipment: Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.

• Say goodnight, tree: Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.

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