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Deck the Halls – Tips for Decorating Safely for the Holidays

Date: Dec 13th, 2016

Holiday Decorating is one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit, however according to the National Safety Council, 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating were seen in emergency rooms during the 2012 season. In addition the use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means more risk for fire. About 2,200 deaths were caused by fires, burns and other fire-related injuries in 2013, according to Injury Facts 2015, and 12% of home candle fires occur in December as reported by the National Fire Protection Association.


Christmas Lights

  • Opt for strands of lights with fused plugs that can prevent sparks in the event of a short circuit.
  • Ensure that you are using outdoor appropriate extension cords and lights.
  • Check cords for cracks (particularly old lights) exposed wires and other flaws.
  • Avoid letting the lights stay on overnight, as unattended lights pose a potential fire hazard. Set your lights on a timer so that they shut off automatically after bedtime and turn on again the next evening.
  • Use the correct wattage when replacing bulbs. If you aren’t sure, consider a Christmas light tester and/or repair gun.
  • Be careful with ladders. If the surface seems unsteady, don’t risk it—they’re just lights!

Christmas Trees

  • Decorate the tree with kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top
  • Always use the proper step ladder; don’t stand on chairs or other furniture
  • If you have a real tree, keep it well watered. Dry trees pose a greater fire hazard. To improve water absorption, cut at least two inches from the truck to expose fresh, more absorbent wood.
  • Invest in artificial trees that are fire resistant.
  • Ensure that the tree is properly secured on its stand and that the stand itself is in good condition. An unsteady tree can pose dangers to residents, guests, and pets.
  • Vacuum frequently around your tree, whether it is real or artificial. All tree and décor are prone to a bit of shedding. Small materials may be hazardous to children and pets.

 Candles and Fireplaces

  • Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle
  • Keep candles out of reach of children
  • Make sure candles are on stable surfaces
  • Don’t burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
  • Don’t burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
  • Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year

Other Decorations

  • “Angel hair” is made from spun glass, and it can irritate your eyes and skin; always wear gloves when handling it, or substitute non-flammable cotton
  • When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions carefully; these sprays can irritate your lungs if inhaled
  • Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous (including some Poinsettias) out of reach of children or pets; the national Poison Control Center can be reached at (800) 222-1222
  • Make sure paths are clear indoors so older adults do not trip on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.; NSC provides tips for older adults on slip, trip and fall protections


NSC – National Safety Council
NFPA – National Fire Protection Association
CSIA – Chimney Safety Institute of America
NCPC – Poison Control

Holiday Safety – Know which Toys are Safe

Date: Dec 06th, 2016

With many toys being given as gifts during the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to take into account how keep kids safe while they’re having fun.

According to the latest available statistics from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Approximately 217,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries. About half of all toy-related injuries occur to the head and face area. While most do not require hospitalization,  in 2005, 20 children died due to toy-related injuries.

The Culprits

  • Riding toys are responsible for the majority of toy injuries among children ages 14 and under, occurring when a child falls from a toy.
  • Children under age three are at greater risk for choking on toys than older children, due to their tendency to put everything in their mouths. In addition, the upper airways of children under age three are smaller than those of older children.

 Keeping them Safe

  • Right Age for the Right Toys: Consider the age of the child when purchasing or playing with certain toys.
  • Small Parts = Choking Hazards: Smaller children put things in their mouths, make sure toys are large enough not to slip down the little one’s throat.  This includes dolls, game pieces, interlocking blocks, and puzzle pieces. Supervise children when at play, so you can see if something poses a danger.
  • Sign Up for Recalls: Toy companies sometimes recall toys when they find something isn’t as safe as they thought.  You can sign up to receive alerts that let you know if you need to send one of your toys back for safety.  Visit RECALLS.govfor information on product recalls for children’s items.
  • Toy Bins: It’s great to have a place to put toys once playtime is done.  Consider bins or barrels without hinges or clips, so little fingers don’t get pinched or stuck.
  • Want more information? Visit safekids.org.
  • Has your child has been injured by a toy? Visit aftertheinjury.org.

hopkinsmedicine.org – Toy Safety: Injury Stats

Turkey Fryers: Safety First

Date: Nov 22nd, 2016

The deep fryer has become an increasingly popular way to make Thanksgiving dinner, but it can come with risks if not done properly.

The trend of deep-frying the turkey has spiked a rise in cooking injuries.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002.  The CPSC also states that 672 people have been injured and an estimated $15 million in U.S. property damage has been caused by deep-fryer fires.

The NSC (National Safety Council) actually discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer.

But for those adventerous individuals who insists on giving it a try, PBS Food asked a Fire Chief about what precautions should be taken.

  • Set up the fryer more than 10 feet from the house and keep children away
  • Find flat ground; the oil must be even and steady to ensure safety
  • Use a thawed and dry turkey; any water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over Fryer lid and handle can become very hot and cause burns
  • Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times



From all of us at NBD International aka NE Ohio DKI
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

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