About 2,200 deaths were caused by fires, burns and other fire-related injuries in 2015 and 11% of home candle fires occur in December, according to Injury Facts 2015 from the National Fire Protection Association reports. Increased use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means greater risk for fire. Putting up decorations is one of the best ways to get in a holiday mood, however an estimated 13,000 injuries involving holiday decorating were seen in emergency rooms during the 2016 season.
o "Angel hair" is made from spun glass, and it can irritate your eyes and skin; always wear gloves and long sleeves when handling it, or substitute non-flammable cotton.
o When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions carefully; these sprays can irritate your lungs if inhaled. Follow the required PPE per the SDS and labels.
o Decorate the tree with your kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top.
o Always use a proper step/extension ladder; don't stand on chairs or other furniture and maintain 3 points of contact when ascending and descending. Have some hold the base of the ladder.
o Lights are among the best parts of holiday decorating; make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
o When attaching decorations in high and hard to reach locations, use an extension ladder, an approved scaffold board and have a partner help you attach the lights, or rent a scissor lift and safety harness. It makes the project go more smoothly and safely when working as a team and using the right equipment.
o To hang the lights, use hangers or hooks instead of using staples, nails or screws to attach the holiday lights. This will prevent any of the lights from falling down, getting cut or damaged and minimize exposure to electrical shock.
o Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous (including some Poinsettias) out of reach of children or pets; the national Poison Control Center can be reached at (800) 222-1222.
o Make sure paths are clear indoors so someone does not trip on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.
o Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle.
o Keep candles out of reach of children.
o Make sure candles are on stable surfaces.
o Don't burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items.
o Don't burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace.
o Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year.
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