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Ways To Stay Holiday Safe
Christmas trees are typically very flammable the drier they get. Home tree fires kill about 13 persons each year. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as long as holiday happenings go as planned. Celebrants can ensure that this joyous time of year is not marred by injury, theft or accidents by always keeping safety in mind.

Do turn off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving home. Lights left on can overheat and cause fires. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two of every five home Christmas tree fires between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Fire Prevention Association.

Don’t locate a Christmas tree too close to a heating source, fireplace or lit candles, as trees can dry out and ignite.

Do extinguish candles before retiring for the night.

Don’t gift without doing research into whether or not toys are age-appropriate. Pay attention to toy recalls as well. The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides lists of recalled items.

Do roast rather than fry the holiday turkey. Burns, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning are some of the dangers associated with turkey fryers. The CPSC, which discourages the use of fryers, says there have been 168 turkey-fryer related incidents since 2002.

Don’t keep purchases in view of potential thieves. Resist putting presents under the tree until the night before Christmas. Hide large product boxes so they’re not visible in the trash or recycling pickups, where thieves might look to see what’s inside the house.

Do wait until after your holiday excursion to take to social media about it. Otherwise, you’re simply advertising that you are not home and risking a break-in.

Don’t drive distracted or under the influence. This is a busy time of year when more people are out and about, so keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Do keep poisonous plants out of reach of pets and children. These can include Jerusalem cherry, mistletoe berries and holly berries.

Don’t locate breakable ornaments close to the bottom of the tree in reach of young children. Glass can shatter and cause serious injuries.

Do tie the Christmas tree to the car securely after purchasing it to avoid lift-off while taking it home from the lot. At home, secure the tree to the ceiling or a wall with a piece of invisible fishing line for extra security against tip overs.

Don’t underestimate the things that can and will go wrong when hosting for the holidays. Take a deep breath, assess the situation and stay calm through any hiccups.