While winter can bring us crisp mornings and the delight of crunchy snow, winter storms can create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, and even heart attacks from overexertion. Planning and preparation are ways we can steer ourselves away from these risks. It is important for us all to plan ahead this year as to how we will celebrate the holidays in a COVID environment, we can also plan on how we can stay safe during the winter months.

One of the hallmarks of the holidays is a decorated tree. And whether the tree is real or fake, here are some steps to follow to stay fire-safe:

  • Place tree at least three feet away from heat sources (fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles, or heat vents).  More than two of every five holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are too close to a heat source.
  • Use non-flammable decorations.  Keep decorations away from windows and doors; keep your exits clear.
  • Use lighting tested by a nationally recognized laboratory, i.e., UL, ETL, etc.  Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands that can be connected together.
  • Inspects light cords for fraying or other defects.
  • Turn off all light strands and decorations before leaving your home or going to bed.
  • If you have a real/natural tree, water it every day and discard the tree promptly when it becomes dry.
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