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Holiday Safety Tips (image)

Your Guide to Safe Holiday Decorating

OD’s Guide to Life. Wisdom from the Desk of Office Dog

by O.D. (Office Dog) at Jill Tinkel’s State Farm Office

’tis the season to trim the tree — and watch the ladder step while you’re at it. Holiday decorating can be hazardous if you’re not careful. Help keep it fun and festive at your household with these holiday safety tips from the crew at Jill Tinkel’s State Farm Office:

Electrical Safety

  • Only make purchases from trusted retailers to avoid the risk of purchasing counterfeit products.
  • Be sure to buy decorations according to your intended use — outdoors or indoors.
  • Always buy electrical equipment that displays a label indicating it has undergone independent testing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
  • Inspect lights for broken sockets, frayed wires and loose connections. Dispose of any damaged sets.
  • Never connect more than three strands of lights together.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices, as they can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Always plug outdoor electrical decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
  • Turn off all electrical decorations when you leave or go to sleep.

Ladder Safety

  • Never use furniture as a ladder.
  • Always inspect and clean your ladder before climbing onto it.
  • Follow the 1-to-4 rule for extension ladders: For every four feet the ladder rises, move the base out one foot from the structure.
  • Always keep three points of contact on the ladder: two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
  • Keep your hips between the side rails. Climb down and move the ladder if you can’t reach an area.

Fire Safety

  • Avoid using candles when possible, and consider using battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
  • If you do use candles, keep them at least 12” from flammable material.
  • Make sure live trees have green pine needles that don’t fall off easily or break when bent, and look for sticky resin on the trunk.
  • Never place a tree by a fireplace, radiator or other heat source.
  • Always use noncombustible or flame-resistant tree decorations.
  • Avoid decorating the mantel with stockings, greenery or other flammable decorations if you use your fireplace frequently.
  • Until next time, may your water bowl always be full and your tail waggin’!

—O.D.

O.D. appears courtesy of Jill Tinkel State Farm. For more info, please call 928-537-5700. You can also visit O.D. at 1881 E. Deuce of Clubs in Show Low. Stop in for Free Cookie Fridays for a fresh baked cookie and a quote!