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Holiday Safety Tips From The Experts: Miami Style

December 10, 2009

P R O P E R T Y   S E A R C H

R E S T I V O – H E C H T M A N    T E A M


This holiday season, keep yourself and your family safe.  Here are some helpful tips from the Miami Dade County Fire Rescue Department…

Christmas trees are great, but can potentially be hazardous. The Fire Rescue Department recommends a few ways to care for your tree.

  • Always keep your tree watered because those that dry out are easier to ignite. The average six-foot tree consumes up to one gallon of water per day.
  • Keep the tree at least three-feet from a fireplace, radiator, space heater, heating vent, or any source of heat, and never put the tree where it blocks an exit.
  • Properly dispose of the tree after the holidays, as it will continue to dry out and become more flammable.

Christmas lights are everywhere this time of year, and should be used with caution.  According to Underwriters Laboratory (UL), most fires occur during the period from December to February, and  most of them are due to dried-out trees, faulty lighting and candles. The UL indicates that 12,500 people are treated in emergency rooms because of holiday decorating accidents.

  • Ensure that lights are designated as indoor or outdoor, and use them accordingly.
  • Turn off all lights and electrical decorations when you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Don’t plug in too many extensions, overloading the outlet.
  • Inspect each electrical decoration, because  frayed, cracked, bare or open sockets can start a fire.
  • When the holidays are over, take down your lights- They aren’t meant to be up more than 90 days.

Candles create ambiance and often release freash scents.

  • Keep candles away from bedding, curtains, decorations, papers, walls, furniture or anything flammable.
  • Make sure to place candles in places where they won’t be knocked over by people or pets.
  • Never use lit candles for tree decorations or leave children unattended in a room with candles.
  • Use sturdy candle holders to catch the wax, and make sure to blow out all candles when leaving a room or going to bed.
  • The Department recommends using electrical candles which are now available in many stores.

In order to decorate our homes with lights or decorate our trees, we often require ladders to help us reach.

  • When near powerlines and electrical wiring, use wooden or fiberglass ladders.
  • Make sure the ladder is on flat ground and not on a soft or muddy surface.
  • Never stand on the ladder’s bucket shelf and make sure not to exceed the maximum weight bearing limit.
  • Wear a tool belt or have someone pass you tools rather than climb up the ladder with them in hand.
  • When climbing up or down, face the ladder keeping your body centered between the rails.

Cooking is a great holiday tradition to be enjoyed by you and your family.

  • Never leave anything unattended and use a timer even if you don’t think you need one…the holidays tend to bring distractions and stress and you may loose track of time.
  • Make sure you know how to use a fire extinguisher and keep one within easy reaching distance.
  • If there are small children in the house, make sure they are closely monitored. Keep handles turned inward to avoid them from being grabbed by the kids.

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, stay safe.

Contact Alexandra Restivo by phone 305-632-0164 or send a note here  if you are thinking of buying or selling property in Miami.   To stay updated on all the information on Miami real estate, subscribe here . Happy Holidays!

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