Keep everyone safe for the holidays

Published 3:39 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

At this time of year, you have many “helpers” who are not always that helpful.

Children are often attracted to the shiny and pretty objects you put out for the holiday season.

Your cats and dogs may see hanging light cords or a tree as an invitation to play.

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As you decorate for the holidays, remember to keep your family and pets safe.

If you put up lights, inspect the cords to make sure none of them are frayed or broken.

Secure loose electrical cords out of the way, so people won’t trip over them and pets can’t chew on them.

Always turn off the lights when you go to bed or leave your house.

If you are burning candles, remember to use good judgment and a bit of caution. Place candles in stable holders and in higher locations, away from curious children and nosy pets.

If you like to have burning candles in your home, designate one family member to be the “overseer of the light.” The overseer’s job is to make sure all candles are extinguished when everyone goes to bed or leaves the house or apartment.

When you have a fire burning in the fireplace, keep a screen in front of it. This will protect your home from sparks and the possibility of a fire starting. It will also help keep children and pets from getting too close to the flames.

A few simple safety precautions will help protect your family this holiday season. For more tips on preventing a fire visit the U.S. Fire Administration Web site at:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides several holiday decorating safety tips at:

If you would like more information about this or other topics, call Ann Hudgins at 524-2326.