Holiday safety tips


Tis the season to deck the halls and celebrate family traditions. However, with the lighting of festive candles and yule logs come potential dangers.

By taking precautions, many holiday dangers can be eliminated. Safety City U.S.A. is offering "Decking the Halls Safely" on Tuesday, Dec. 11. This free, interactive education program for adults will focus on household holiday safety tips. It begins at 6 p.m. and includes refreshments. Safety City U.S.A. is in the Northwood Shopping Center, at 30955 N. Woodward Ave. (at 13 Mile Road). To register or for more information, call Safety City U.S.A. at 248-551-0100.

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, each year 12,000 Americans are treated in hospital emergency departments for falls, cuts, electrical shocks and burns due to faulty decorations or accidents while decorating.

"Regretfully during the busy holiday season, many people overlook safety precautions around the home," says Jedd Roe, M.D., chairman of Emergency Medicine at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. "This can result in trips to our emergency department. Sadly, many of these visits are preventable."

Christmas trees account for more than 400 residential fires annually- nearly 100 injuries and 40 deaths.

ACEP offers the following holiday safety tips:

Candles and Fireplaces

  • Keep lighters and candles away from children and never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Have chimneys and fireplaces professionally inspected yearly to ensure they are safe to use and the chimney is unobstructed.
  • Decorations and Christmas Trees

  • Check decorative lights to make sure they are not broken and the wires are not bare or frayed.
  • Turn off all decorative lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Avoid using sharp decorations and ornaments.
  • Keep Christmas trees away from fireplaces or other areas where high heat is present.
  • When buying an artificial tree, be sure the label indicates it is "fire resistant."
  • When buying a live tree, check for freshness (green, full of needles, sticky trunk). Fresh trees are less of a fire hazard and should be watered frequently.
  • Use the appropriate size ladder for any decorating job and have someone help you.
  • The Emergency Center at Beaumont, Royal Oak is home to the only Level 1 trauma center in Oakland and Macomb counties. The Emergency Center is staffed by full-time, board-certified emergency physicians, including specialists in pediatric emergencies. Beaumont is one of the top Michigan hospitals for its number of emergency center visits, with 115,416 visits in 2006.