Tips for Staying Safe As You Deck the Halls

There’s no harm in decorating your house to get in the holiday spirit, but it’s also important to exercise basic safety to reduce the risk of electrical shock, fires, or worse. Every holiday season, over 14,000 people receive emergency room treatment related to holiday decorating, and home fires cause millions of dollars in property damage. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) has issued a few guidelines for safe holiday decorating:

Cristmas tree

Tree Safety
Pine trees are always in high demand this time of year, but they pose a significant fire hazard—especially if they become dried out. A fresh tree is much harder to ignite, so take your time to find one that will not lose many needles. Keep a natural tree away from heat sources—such as candles, fireplaces, and space heaters—and water it consistently. Avoid fragile ornaments that make sharp pieces when they break; consider making your own ornaments with the entire family or investing in plastic ones.

Electrical/Fire Safety
Christmas lights all come with warning labels detailing their energy usage and how many may be safely used. Certain items, such as space heaters and hair dryers, can use a significant amount of energy and can easily overload an outlet that is approaching its limit. One of the biggest dangers of electrical fires is that many occur behind the walls, and it can take several minutes to notice such a fire after the outlet fails. Place candles out of reach of children but in an accessible area, and always extinguish them before going to bed.

Riverside Community Hospital is committed to providing a superior standard of healthcare and comfort to all of our patients. As the largest and most comprehensive acute care facility in the area, we offer a full range of state-of-the-art equipment. Take advantage of our 24-Hour Consult-a-Nurse Healthcare Referral service or call (951) 788-3000 to receive a physician referral or to get answers to your healthcare questions.

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