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The holidays are an exciting time, but it’s also a time of increased injury. We would like to offer you a few tips on how to keep you and your family safe.

Decorations

During the holidays, we tend to have a lot of candles and holiday lights in our home. It’s very important to keep candles away from curtains and children, and that they are always in your view. If you’re going to leave the room, put the candle out so there is not an increased risk of fire. If you are going to decorate your home or Christmas tree with lights, be sure that your lights are fairly new so they are up to current electrical code. Don’t string a bunch of them together where there could be overloading the outlet and possibly increase the risk of fire. If you have a real Christmas tree, it is very important that you don’t let it dry out. It needs to be watered frequently so that it minimizes the risk of a Christmas tree fire.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Even though it doesn’t get very cold here in Texas, it is cold enough that we want to use our heaters at night. The risk, especially for older homes, can be carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, and you usually do not know that you have been exposed until it’s too late. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in death. The best thing you can do is to have your heater serviced every year or two to ensure the ducts are clean and that it is operating properly. Get a carbon monoxide detector for your home. The ideal location is in a hallway outside of your sleeping quarters. That way, if carbon monoxide is detected, it will alarm and help you get out of the house quickly.

Alcohol

Holidays are filled with parties and celebrations that may result in drinking. If you are going to drink, be sure to plan accordingly. Never drink and drive. Make sure that you have a designated driver or that you use a driving service. Enjoy yourself, but take precautions.

Fireworks

Everyone loves to celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks, but there are several precautions that you need to take to stay safe. First, ensure that it is legal to set off fireworks in your community. If it’s dry out, a burn ban may prevent you from using fireworks. Always ensure that you’re supervising children very carefully. They should not be handling fireworks at all. Be sure that the fireworks are never aimed at other people or pets. Have a garden hose or a bucket of water close by in case a fire is started. If you shoot a firework and it doesn’t go off, use precaution. Don’t just run up to the firework and put your face over it to check on it. Fireworks can sometimes delay and cause significant injury. Lastly, do not drink when you are using fireworks. That can be a recipe for disaster.

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