Keeping Your Greater St. Louis Home and Family Safe During Christmas

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As the Christmas song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Christmas can be magical. It is a time for sharing our love with family and friends. However, the team at RRSA St. Louis wants to make sure that all Greater St. Louis homeowners have a very safe Christmas this year. To help make that happen, below we are sharing some great tips for keeping your home and family safe this Christmas season. Some of the information below comes from the National Safety Council. They even have a colorful PDF poster you can download for free with safety tips. The poster is called The 12 Days of Safety. You can print out the poster and place it somewhere in your home so everyone can see it. Follow this link to download the poster.

Decorate Safely

Decorating is one of the best ways to get in a holiday mood, but emergency rooms see thousands of injuries involving holiday decorating every season.

When decorating follow these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Keep potentially poisonous plants – mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis – away from children
  • If using an artificial tree, check that it is labeled “fire-resistant”
  • If using a live tree, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, remember to water it and remove it from your home when it is dry
  • Place your tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources, making certain not to block doorways
  • Avoid placing breakable ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower tree branches where small children can reach them
  • Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors, and choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights
  • Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections
  • Follow the package directions on the number of light sets that can be plugged into one socket
  • Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow
  • Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house

Watch Out for Fire-Starters

Candles and Fireplaces

The use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations in many homes during the holidays, means more risk for fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles and that two of every five decoration fires happen because the decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

  • Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over and out of reach of children.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high and out of reach for children in a locked cabinet.
  • Use flameless, rather than lighted candles near flammable objects.
  • Don’t burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace.
  • Use a screen on the fireplace at all times when a fire is burning.
  • Never leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended or when you are asleep.
  • Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year.

Turkey Fryers
Be alert to the dangers if you’re thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 154 turkey-fryer related fires, burns or other injuries since 2004, with $5.2 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.

NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider using an oil-less turkey fryer. If you must fry your own turkey, follow all U.S. Fire Administration turkey fryer guidelines.

Food Poisoning Is No Joke

Keep your holidays happy by handling food safely. The foodsafety.gov website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some valuable holiday food safety tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently when handling food
  • Keep raw meat away from fresh produce
  • Use separate cutting boards, plate, and utensils for uncooked and cooked meats to avoid cross-contamination
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
  • Refrigerate hot or cold leftover food within two hours of being served
  • When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
  • Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for three to four days when properly refrigerated

Watch this holiday food safety video for more information.

The RRSA St. Louis team hopes these tips will provide your home and family in Greater St. Louis with a safe and happy Christmas. If you are ready for your free home inspection over the Christmas holidays, don’t hesitate to call us. We are ready to help you in any way we can.

636-542-4816
Serving Greater St. Louis, Chesterfield, St. Charles, O’Fallon