Outdoor Christmas Decoration Safety
• Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations used for outdoor decorating are marked for outdoor use.
• Match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with amperage rating of extension cords.
• Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). If circuits are not GFCI-protected, portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold and require no special knowledge or equipment to install.
• Inspect all lights, decorations, and extension cords for damage before using.
• Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, the house, or other firm supports to protect them from wind damage, but take care not to attach the lights in a way that could damage the cord’s insulation.
• Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
• Make sure spotlights used to illuminate decorations are well-ventilated, protected from weather, and a safe distance from flammable items.
• Inspect ladders for loose or missing screws, hinges, bolts, and nuts before using.
• Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when decorating outdoors. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
• Use the right ladder height, ensuring ladders extend at least three feet past the edge of the roof.
• Exercise caution when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines.
• Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
• Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
• Do not mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
• Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
Indoor Decoration Safety
1. Check for freshness if you buy a live tree. If the tree is fresh, its needles should be hard to pull off and don't break. The bottom of a fresh tree is sticky with resin and doesn't shed many needles when tapped on the ground.
2. Keep trees away from heat sources like fireplaces, vents and radiators. Monitor the water level and keep the tree stand filled. Put the tree up in a place that doesn't block a doorway and won't get bumped into.
3. If you get an artificial tree, look for a label that says "fire resistant."
4. Child-proof decorations. Avoid sharp, weighted or breakable decorations if you have small children. Keep pieces with small, removable parts out of reach of children and avoid those that look like candy or food so that small children won't be tempted to eat them.
5. When using lights, either indoors or outside, only use those tested for safety by a nationally-recognized testing lab.
6. Check each light set regardless if it's new or old for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. Throw out any damaged sets and don't use electric lights on metallic trees.
7. Make sure extension cords are rated for use.
8. Keep burning candles where you can see them. Blow out all candles before going to bed or leaving the room or house.
9. Put candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface where children and pets can't reach them or knock them over. Keep lighted candles away from things that can catch fire easily like trees, decorations, curtains and furniture.
Plants to KEEP AWAY FROM PETS!
- Pine Needles
Holiday Package Theft:
• Avoid sending cash by mail.
• Don’t leave delivered mail and packages unattended.
• Consider alternate shipping address.
• Sign up for package notifications.
• Customize the delivery. (Require a signature.)
• Plan ahead. Ship using hold for pickup.
• Hold mail at the local post office if you are going out of town.
• Choose the most secure form of delivery.
Winter Weather Preparedness Week
Advance warning is the most powerful preparedness tool for severe weather. Every family should have multiple methods for receiving severe weather alerts. Crisp County Emergency Management is proud to announce a new feature to our CodeRED alert system. Citizens can now text “ALERTCRISP” to 99411 to enroll in CodeRED Alerts.
The holidays are a good time to update—or create—your home inventory. Take photos or make videos of items, and list descriptions and serial numbers. If your home is burglarized, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file.
Make sure things like TVs, VCRs, stereo equipment, cameras, camcorders, sports equipment, jewelry, silver, computers, home office equipment and power tools are on the list. Remember to check it twice!
Strangers at Your Door!
• Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
• It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
• Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.
• Donate to a recognized charitable organization.