Stay safe this holiday season

Take these precautions to be safe this holiday season

winter holiday safety tips

Although good tidings and joy abound during the holiday season, this time of year can also pose a serious threat to your family, friends and home. The holidays bring an elevated risk for fires and burns, and many Americans may have a false sense of security.

A survey conducted by Shriners Hospitals for Children® shows that many Americans know basic fire and burn safety tips but do not practice them in the home. Failure to implement safety precautions only adds to the danger.

Many burn injuries and fire risks can be avoided by practicing a few simple safety measures. Shriners Hospitals has provided some practical steps to keep your home and family safe.

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1. Live Christmas trees need water daily. A dry tree can ignite in seconds. Well-watered trees significantly reduce this risk. Set a reminder to add water daily to keep your tree safe and supple throughout the season.

2. Consider using wickless or flameless candles. There are numerous inexpensive options that cast a warm, flickering glow so you can enjoy the ambiance of a lit candle without the risk.

3. Toss out damaged strands. Before installing decorative lights on a house, closely inspect each strand for frayed wires, bare spots and excessive kinking or wear. Discard and replace any lights that show signs of damage, which can pose a fire hazard.

4. Turn pot handles to avoid burns. With more cooking during holiday time, the risk of pediatric burns increases drastically. Outturned handles can be easily grasped by curious hands or snag on clothing or aprons and potentially scald a youngster underfoot. Be sure to turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, out of children’s reach.

5. Turn up the heat safely. Minimize the risk of a natural gas leak by scheduling an annual service by a qualified professional for all appliances, gas lines, and other gas-consuming elements in the home.

Since the 1960s, Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a leader in burn care, research and education. During this time, the survival rate has doubled for children with burns over more than 50 percent of their bodies. Today, patients with burns over 90 percent can survive and go on to lead full, productive live.