More Holiday Safety Tips from Standard Heating

Fourth post of four in a series on home safety.

Top 3 home candle fires

Sturdy ladders always should be used when putting up decorations and lights (never use chairs or other objects not intended for this purpose). The National Safety Council (NSC) also advises using ladders “with slip-resistant feet and wearing clean, dry and slip-resistant shoes when climbing a ladder.” Other ladder tips from the NSC:

  • A straight or extension ladder should be placed one foot away from the surface it rests against for every four feet of ladder height.
  • When you climb, always face the ladder and grip the rungs to climb – not the side rails.
  • Always keep three points of contact on the ladder, whether two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
  • When climbing, keep your hips between the side rails and do not lean too far or overreach. Re-position the ladder closer to the work instead.
  • When using ladders outdoors, get down immediately if high winds, rain, snow or other inclement weather begins. Winds can blow you off the ladder and rain or snow can make both the rungs and the ground slippery.

Alleviate stress by taking time each day to rest, reflect, listen to soothing music and do yoga or other exercise that helps you feel peaceful. It’s also wise to limit the number of errands on your daily to-do list.

Fires frequently are caused by malfunctioning heating equipment, particularly space heaters. Be sure to keep your furnace in top working condition (Standard Heating can provide a thorough inspection – just give us a call!) and follow manufacturer instructions if you use a space heater. Finally, never use candles as a heat source, and pay attention to where candles and holiday decorations are placed. Here are some additional fire-prevention tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle
  • Keep candles out of reach of children
  • Make sure candles are on stable surfaces
  • Don’t burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
  • Don’t burn trees, wreaths, or wrapping paper in the fireplace

Electrical outlets should not be overloaded. Notes the U.S. Commerce Department website: “Connect no more then three strands of mini lights on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, and around the top portions of the door opening.”

Toys to avoid due to product recalls are listed at http://www.cpsc.gov. But before you say, “Bah, Humbug!” the National Safety Council reminds shoppers there are plenty of safe toys on the market.

Your health is influenced by how you handle food. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some holiday food safety tips. Here are a few:

  • Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
  • Refrigerate food within two hours
  • Most leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
  • Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
  • Wash your hands frequently when handling food

We hope you have found these safety tips informative and helpful. Everyone at Standard Heating wishes you and your family a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season and a wonderful new year!

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