Wishing You a Safe Holiday Season
Joe Whiteman, Director of Safety Services 12-2019
As we get ready to welcome a new year, we must not let our guard down when it comes to safety. As you strive to be a good steward of safety and ensure safe work behavior is the focus, it’s important to remember that accidents don’t stop when you walk off the jobsite. I want to take this opportunity to remind us all not to lose focus on safety at home during this holiday season.
Did you know that between 2013 – 2017 the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) stated that fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires caused by a Christmas tree? Those fires caused an average of three deaths and 15 injuries, along with millions of dollars in property damage each year. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that last year there were 14,700 holiday decorating related emergency room treated injuries. That works out to over 200 injuries each day for November, December and half of January. Of those injuries, falls accounted for nearly half, followed by lacerations and back strains. There were also three deaths from falling from a ladder while decorating.
As we celebrate the holidays and welcome the new year, we need to stay focused and watch out not only for your own safety, but for your family and others. To help with that, use the tips below as reminders.
Keep real trees fresh by watering regularly.
Ensure artificial trees are “Fire Resistant”; check the label to be sure.
Avoid putting breakable or smaller ornaments on the lower branches of the tree to keep away from small children.
Some plants may be poisonous to small children and animals such as poinsettias, mistletoe and holly berries. Keep them out of reach.
Keep decorations and combustibles at least three feet from a heat source like the fireplace or space heater.
Turn off interior lit decorations before going to sleep or when you leave your home.
Don’t overload extension cords or sockets when powering Christmas lights.
Never run cords under carpet or area rugs.
Ensure exterior Christmas lights and extension cords are in good condition. Invest in new LED Christmas lights.
Use ladders correctly and ensure they are set on level, stable ground.
Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
Turn pan handles towards the back of the range.
Never use flour or water to put out a pan fire.
Fry your turkey at a safe distance of 10 ft. from combustible materials/structures. Keep children and pets away.
Lower the turkey in the fryer slowly and be sure to overfill the oil in your turkey fryer.
Leave earlier than usual to reach destinations, as there are more people on the road.
Never drink and drive. Use a designated driver, Uber, Lyft or taxi.
If you are gifting a bicycle, scooter or some form of a riding toy, be sure to include appropriate safety gear.