Holiday Safety Tips

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As the Capital Region enters into the holiday season, grocery carts fill with gingerbread cookies and poinsettias, and boxes of holiday decorations reemerge from the dusty depths of basements and garages, bursting at the seams with tinsel.

The holiday season just wouldn't be complete without seasonal objects, but there are safety measures to remain conscious of, especially in households with children and pets according to News 10.

The following is a list of safety tips pertaining to holiday preparations:

HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Holiday lights are a fire hazard, so always remember to turn them off! This means before bed as well as whenever you leave your home.

Before stringing up icicle lights around your home or porch area, be sure to re-inspect them, since the condition of the lights may have changed since last winter. If the lights have frayed from rodents or have loose bulb connections, they are unsafe and need to be discarded.

Check that the holiday lights you intend to use outside are meant for outdoor use - not all holiday lights are!

HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS: Keep in mind that children and pets are attracted to shiny ornaments and objects that resemble foods. Make certain that small ornament, items with small or removable parts and ornaments that resemble foods high up on the tree, out of reach.

CANDLES AS ORNAMENTS: In the 1800s, people used to put lit candles on their trees as ornaments – that stopped after it resulted in many, many fires. Using electric lights on your Christmas tree is just as beautiful and much safer.

CANDLES IN WINDOWS: Candles in windows are a holiday staple, and can be done safely with care and planning!

Don't leave a lit candle in the vicinity of a loose piece of fabric like a wafting window curtain, as it could easily catch and spread the flame. Securely fasten window curtains or completely remove them, if you intend to put a lit candle in the window. Also be sure that the candle is set on an uncluttered surface.

HOLIDAY PLANTS: Poinsettias are popularly rumored to be toxic, and they are, but to a minor extent. They will make animals sick if they are digested. Far more toxic to animals are their holiday plant accomplices: lilies, holly and mistletoe. Keep all of these plants away from animals that are likely to chew on or digest them.

Learn how to care for your poinsettia and prevent the attack of insects.

HOLIDAY TREE: If you are purchasing a pine tree for the holiday, make sure that the tree is fresh!

You can tell that a tree is fresh by reviewing a few things:

  • The color should be vivid green
  • The pine needles should be difficult to pull from the tree (not brittle and falling off with a light touch)
  • The base of the trunk should be sticky with white resin.
  • Inspect the tree looking for Christmas tree insects. Dislodge any insects by giving the tree a good shake before bringing inside; this helps with clean-up of pine needles too!

Dried out trees are dangerous because they are highly flammable. Be sure to purchase a sturdy tree-stand that resists any change in weight and keeps the tree standing up tall and straight!

HOLIDAY FOOD: A cook or designated helper should be in the kitchen at all times when there is food cooking. A large number of fires occur because of unattended food cooking- and the hopeful dog does not count as a watchful eye in the kitchen.

Before baking, inspect the packaging and food items for pests like pantry pests who are often found in flour, sugar and other baking goods.

FIREPLACE: Don't burn wrapping-paper in the fireplace, as it burns quickly, with intensity, and can spread fire to other areas of the house.

Other fireplace tips to prevent indoor pests, include storing firewood away from structures and inspecting each log and knock them together to dislodge any pests.

Thomas Pest Services wishes you and your family a happy and pest free holiday season. Thomas Pest Services is your local Clifton Park exterminator. If you find too many insects in your Christmas tree, firewood or baking ingredients contact Thomas Pest Services. Thomas Pest Services offers the Schenectady, Clifton Park, East Greenbush and surrounding towns a free pest inspection! Protect your health, home, family and property with pest removal, contact us via phone at 1-877-518-2847, via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter!


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