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Avoid the 12 Dangers of Christmas

  Avoid the 12 Dangers of Christmas

While the holidays are a joyous time of year, they also can be hazardous if simple safety precautions aren’t taken. Learn from the mistakes of the naughty Christmas elf as you and your loved ones celebrate the holiday season.

1. Keep decorations at least 3 feet away from any open flame or heating element.

2. Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections.

3. Do not run cords under carpets, rugs, furniture or out of windows.

4. Do not overload outlets and do not string multiple extension cords together.

5. Sometimes less is more—be careful not to overdecorate.

6. Always turn off decorations when you’re sleeping or leaving your home.

7. Keep your natural Christmas tree hydrated. Water it daily and dispose of it quickly after the holidays or when it gets dry.

8. When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.

9. Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid electricity peak load times.

10. Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home—especially near sleeping areas.

11. Keep batteries safely stored in their packaging; they can be deadly if swallowed.

12. Never toss anything but logs into your fireplace. Evergreens burn too hot and increase fire risk, and burning wrapping paper can create hazardous fumes.