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Underwriters Laboratories demonstrates how to spend a minute to ensure holiday safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more home fires occur in December than any other month.
UL offers basic welfare tips for the people to guard them against holiday hazards and fire accidents

Every minute, 17 children visit emergency rooms due to unintentional injuries and, according to the National Fire Protection Association, more home fires occur in December than any other month.

This November and December, Americans are expected to spend approximately $7.5 million every minute on holiday-related items, including gifts and festive decorations. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading independent safety organization, is urging families to dedicate just a fraction of the time and attention spent shopping for gifts and decor to making sure their purchases are being used safely.

Every minute, 17 children visit emergency rooms due to unintentional injuries and, according to the National Fire Protection Association, more home fires occur in December than any other month. The risks associated with cooking, decorating and home entertaining during the holidays make safety more important than ever. UL knows that making small safety considerations on a daily basis can make a huge difference when it comes to a family's well being.

Risks associated with cooking and home decoration during  holidays make safety a grave concern

"This is easily the busiest time of year, but it's important to make time for safety while celebrating the holidays," said John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety at UL. "By committing one minute a day to safety, many accidents can be avoided and your holidays will be memorable for all the right reasons."

UL offers the following tips that take less than one minute each to help families recognize, identify and prevent hazards that too often can result in accidents or tragedy.

  • Water your tree: Dry trees pose a substantial fire risk. After bringing your tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk before putting it in a sturdy stand. Be sure to water it daily. Additionally, know your trees expiration date. After about four weeks, the tree will stop absorbing water, dry out and should be discarded.
  • Check your lights, check them twice: Before hanging light strings, inspect them for damage and wear. Cracks, frays and bare wires can pose fire or shock hazards.
  • Decorate with a safety eye: Cords should not be run under carpets or tacked up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be choking hazards and should be kept out of the reach of toddlers.
  • Be flame aware: Always blow out unattended candles and teach children to stay away from lit candles or fireplaces.
  • Look on the UL mark and prevent a spark: Only use light strings and other electrical decorations that bear the UL Mark near the plug. UL authorizes manufacturers to put the UL Mark on products to signify safety they meet UL's safety standards.

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