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Holiday Safety Tips from Pasadena Fire Dept.

Holiday Safety Tips from Pasadena Fire Dept.

 THE PASADENA FIRE DEPARTMENT ISSUES SAFETY TIPS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON 

 The holidays are an exciting time of year for families to decorate and celebrate, although the Pasadena Fire Department reminds residents and businesses of several safety tips so this holiday season may be enjoyed by all.  

 Trees 

  •  When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant."  
  •  When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.  
  •  When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.  
  •  Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. 
  •  Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.   

 Lights 

  •  Check all tree lights-even if you've just purchased them-before hanging them on your tree. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. 
  •  Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.  
  •  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. Never pull or tug lights to remove them. 
  •  Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks. 
  •  Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.  

 Decorations 

  •  Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals.  
  •  Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked over.  
  •  In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or inhaling small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.
  • Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child or can cause a fire if near flame.   

 Toy Safety 

  •  Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children. 
  •  Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy that he has received as a gift, read the instructions carefully. 
  •  Young children can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long. 
  •  Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death -- after swallowing button batteries and magnets. In addition to toys, button batteries are often found in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids and other small electronics. Keep them away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.        
  •  Children can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons; do not allow children under age 8 to play with them.  
  •  Remove strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.   
  •  Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.  
  •  Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep older kids’ toys away from young children.
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  •  Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child or can cause a fire if near flame.   

 Fireplaces 

  •  Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.  
  •  Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.  
  •  Do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely. 

  

 For further information please contact the Pasadena Fire Department at 626-744-7276 

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Posted: 12/5/2012 02:05:00 PM