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Holiday Safety Tips
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By Commissioner Steven Freeman
December 14, 2023

The Iselin Chemical Hook and Ladder Volunteer Fire Company want to wish all a Happy and Safe Holiday!
Here are some Holiday Safety Tips, fact sheets and Videos.

Winter Holiday Fire Facts

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of 4 civilian fire deaths, 33 civilian fire injuries and $14 million in direct property damage.
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in more than two in five home Christmas tree fires.
Nearly one in five Christmas tree fires were started by lamps or bulbs. Eight percent were started by candles.
Roughly two of every five home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.
Candle fires peak in December and January with 11 percent of candle fires in each of these months.
Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Year round, one-third (33%) of home decoration fires were started by candles. This jumped to almost half in December when candles started 46% of such fires. Cooking started one-fifth (19%) of decoration fires.
Traveling for the Holidays? Be Prepared
If you're traveling this year, be sure your vehicle is in good running condition, get plenty of rest and be prepared for any emergency. Traveling by car during the holidays has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. Hundreds of people die every year in crashes on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts. Alcohol impairment is involved in about a third of these fatalities.

Stay safe on the roads over the holidays — and every day:

● Prepare your car for winter and keep an emergency kit with you
● Get a good night’s sleep before departing and avoid drowsy driving
● Leave early, planning ahead for heavy traffic
● Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance traveled
● Put that cell phone away; many distractions occur while driving, but cell phones are the main culprit
● Practice defensive driving
● Designate a sober driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs can cause impairment

Decorate Safely
Decorating is one of the best ways to get in a holiday mood, but emergency departments see thousands of injuries involving holiday decorating every season.

When decorating follow these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

● Keep potentially poisonous plants – mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis – away from children
● If using an artificial tree, check that it is labeled “fire resistant”
● If using a live tree, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, remember to water it, and remove it from your home when it is dry
● Place your tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources, making certain not to block doorways
● Avoid placing breakable ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower tree branches where small children can reach them
● Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors, and choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights
● Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections
● Follow the package directions on the number of light sets that can be plugged into one socket
● Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights, and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow
● Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house

Watch Out for Fire-Starters
Candles and Fireplaces
Use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations in many homes during the holidays, means more risk for fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports on average candles cause 46% of fires annually in December.

● Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over, and out of reach of children
● Keep matches and lighters up high and out of reach of children in a locked cabinet
● Use flameless rather than lighted candles near flammable objects
● Don't burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
● Use a screen on the fireplace at all times when a fire is burning
● Never leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended or when you are asleep
● Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year

Attachment CandleSafetyTips.pdf  (591k)
Attachment ChristmasTreeSafetyTips.pdf  (793k)
Attachment CookingSafety.pdf  (634k)
Attachment LithiumIonBatterySafety.pdf  (1,020k)
Attachment nfpaprojectholidaytreetags.pdf  (349k)
Attachment Winter_Holiday_Safety.pdf  (854k)


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