- 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.
- Do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
- Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
- Bacteria are often present in raw foods. Fully cook meats and poultry, and thoroughly wash raw vegetables and fruits.
- Wash your hands frequently, and never put a spoon used to taste food back into food without washing it.
- Always keep raw foods and cooked foods separately, and use separate utensils when preparing them.
- Thaw meat in the refrigerator, never on the countertop.
- Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Before decorating, check all light sets for frayed wires, damaged sockets, or cracked insulation. If you find any defects, replace the entire set.
- All outdoor cords, plugs and sockets must be weatherproof. Keep electrical connections off the ground, and make sure wiring is kept clear of drainpipes and railings to prevent any risk of shock. It’s also a good idea to use a ground fault circuit interrupter on each circuit. If current leaks through frayed or damaged wires, the interrupter will shut off the lights.
- Don’t overload your electrical circuits. Circuits in older homes carry a maximum of 1800 watts each. Most newer homes can handle 2400 watts each.
- Remember that hot bulbs can ignite dry tree branches. To avoid disaster, keep trees well watered and keep extension cords and light strings away from the water. For safety’s sake, light your tree only when you are at home and awake to enjoy it. As an extra precaution, keep a fire extinguisher handy, and be sure your home’s smoke detectors have new batteries and that they’re working properly.
- Don’t mount lights in any way that can damage the cord’s wire insulation. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples–don’t use nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.