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For Electric Cooperative Members

Be My Safe Valentine

Simple measures can keep the focus on romance

Nothing takes the romance out of Valentine’s Day quite like a trip to the emergency room, so take care to avoid some common holiday hazards.

Be extra careful with Mylar helium balloons. Although they come in adorable shapes and colors to help you declare your love, Mylar balloons can be trouble. The material these balloons are made from conducts electricity, so if they’re set adrift and contact overhead power lines, they could cause an explosion, fire or power outage. When finished with Mylar balloons, be sure to puncture or deflate them to release the helium.

Be sure candles are placed away from flammable materials. Candles might help set a romantic mood, but open flames near curtains or decorations like confetti and papers can light the wrong kind of fire. Only light them in fireproof areas and when clear of children and pets. Flameless LED candles offer a safe alternative.

Be wary of wax warmers, too. The trendy scent and light emitters use lightbulbs to melt wax in a tray. Although they might create an aromatic ambiance, they could catch fire if electrical connections go awry. Always monitor scented wax warmers for a few moments after plugging them in.

Be barbecue smart. If firing up the grill for a romantic Valentine’s dinner, remember to use cooking oils and sprays sparingly. Excess oils from food can cause the barbecue to flare up.

Be meticulous when deep-frying. Stay out of deep trouble by ensuring that all foods are completely thawed and dry before immersing them in the fryer. Any ice on frozen food quickly becomes steam and can cause the oil to spring from the pan. The escaped oil could cause burns and ignite on exposed heating elements.

Be careful when decorating a fireplace hearth. Your heart might be in the right place, but the hearth is no place for flammable cards, flags, decorations or wrapping paper. A clutter-free area around the fireplace is the best way to prevent unwanted flames.