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Holiday Entertaining Safety Checklists

Keep your festivities free from fire and other hazards

As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, use these tips to ensure that your home is ready for festive activities.

Fire Safety

• Test your smoke alarms monthly and make sure your house is protected by an adequate number of working alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

• Share your fire escape plan, including the location of your outside meeting place, with any overnight guests. Everyone should know at least two ways out of each room in your home.

• Keep halls, stairs and doorways properly illuminated and free of clutter and other objects that could hinder an escape during a fire emergency.

• Consider having older guests or those with mobility issues sleep on the ground floor.

Decorating Safety

• Avoid overloading electrical outlets, which can overheat and cause a fire.

• Do not place extension cords where they could be tripping hazards.

• Do not run extension cords under rugs or furniture.

• Keep decorations at least 3 feet away from heat sources, including space heaters and fireplaces.

• Keep young visitors in mind: Place cords, breakables, candles and other potentially dangerous items out of children’s reach.

• Turn off and unplug decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.

• Use only weatherproof electrical devices for outside activities. Protect outdoor electrical devices from moisture.

• Make sure live Christmas trees are watered daily.

Heating Equipment Safety

• Have your heating system inspected annually by a licensed, qualified professional.

• Use space heaters properly and safely. Keep them out of high-traffic areas and at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.

• Do not leave a space heater running unattended. Turn off space heaters and unplug them when you leave the room or go to sleep.

• Never leave an open flame, including a fireplace, unattended.