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Holiday Safety Tips for Seniors and Elderly in Delaware County, PA, Montgomery County Pa, Philadelphia


Trees, lights and candles play key roles in holiday traditions, but pose a danger when not used with care. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC – http://www.cpsc.gov) reports that each year nearly 12,800 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday decorating, including falls and electrical shocks. An average of 240 fires involving dried-out Christmas trees result in 16 deaths and $13 million in property damage, the National Fire Protection Association reports. The CPSC says that an average of 13,000 candle-related fires occur annually, resulting in 170 deaths and $390 million in property damage.

Tree and decoration tips:
Buy artificial trees that are labeled “Fire Resistant.”
Choose a live tree that has green needles that do not break when bent between the fingers. The bottom of the tree should be sticky with resin. When tapped on the ground, the tree should lose only a few needles.
Place trees away from fireplaces, vents and radiators. If using a live tree, remember to keep the stand filled with water.
Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations.
Lighting tips:
Use only lights-indoors or out-that have been tested for safety by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL/ITSNA. Use only newer lights that have thicker wiring and safety fuses to prevent wires from overheating.
Before using, check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets.
Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for stringing light sets together. UL recommends using no more than three standard-size sets of lights together.
Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use. Discard cords that are frayed.
Check outdoor light labels to make sure they have been certified for outdoor use. Only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
Turn off lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
Candle Tips
Keep burning candles within sight.
Extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the room or house. Do not leave children, or adults with dementia, alone in a room with burning candles.
Keep lighted candles away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.
Always use non-flammable holders and keep away from children and pets.
Use battery-powered candles whenever possible to avoid fire risk.
Fireplace Tips
Do not burn wrapping paper or plastic items in the fireplace-they can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
Place a screen around the fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby materials
~Trees, lights and candles play key roles in holiday traditions, but pose a danger when not used with care. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC – http://www.cpsc.gov) reports that each year nearly 12,800 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday decorating, including falls and electrical shocks. An average of 240 fires involving dried-out Christmas trees result in 16 deaths and $13 million in property damage, the National Fire Protection Association reports. The CPSC says that an average of 13,000 candle-related fires occur annually, resulting in 170 deaths and $390 million in property damage.

Tree and decoration tips:
Buy artificial trees that are labeled “Fire Resistant.”
Choose a live tree that has green needles that do not break when bent between the fingers. The bottom of the tree should be sticky with resin. When tapped on the ground, the tree should lose only a few needles.
Place trees away from fireplaces, vents and radiators. If using a live tree, remember to keep the stand filled with water.
Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations.
Lighting tips:
Use only lights-indoors or out-that have been tested for safety by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL/ITSNA. Use only newer lights that have thicker wiring and safety fuses to prevent wires from overheating.
Before using, check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets.
Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for stringing light sets together. UL recommends using no more than three standard-size sets of lights together.
Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use. Discard cords that are frayed.
Check outdoor light labels to make sure they have been certified for outdoor use. Only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
Turn off lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
Candle Tips
Keep burning candles within sight.
Extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the room or house. Do not leave children, or adults with dementia, alone in a room with burning candles.
Keep lighted candles away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.
Always use non-flammable holders and keep away from children and pets.
Use battery-powered candles whenever possible to avoid fire risk.
Fireplace Tips
Do not burn wrapping paper or plastic items in the fireplace-they can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
Place a screen around the fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby materials. To read more on safety tips for elderly, click HERE.

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