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Holiday Home Safety/Information Share

12 Tips for Holiday Home Safety
The holidays invite all sorts of fun activity, from lighting candles to hanging fresh greens and stringing lights. Here’s how to keep your house and family safe from fire and injury.
By Compiled by Lexi Walters

As you’re sprucing up your home this season, keep an eye out for these common holiday trip-ups, fire hazards, and other safety snafus.

1. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.

2. Lights Out: Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.
3. Fresh Is Best: Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from open candles.
4. Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour


5. Check for the Certification Mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
6. One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
7. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.
8. Climbing Up: Using a ladder when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.
9. Keep the Gas Behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.
10. Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home — especially near sleeping areas.
11. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.
12. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.

Source: CSA International
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.
Originally published on, November 2005.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

By Compiled by Lexi Walters

American Baby

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Blue…Nighttime Rituals

brown bear leaning on bed headboard
Photo by Lisa Fotios on


Blue had this things or stuff she would do every single night. She would gather up her stuffed animals and her dolls and favorite pillows and would pile them up on her bed.

Blue thought hard to herself one evening as to what she could possibly do to protect herself from the dangers that came with the nighttime around her house. She had no recourse if something wanted to snatch her out from her bed. She was just a little girl but she could make it darn well hard for them to reach her and pull her out of her bed.

So, she tucked herself in the covers that were on her bed. She also strategically formed her stuff like her dolls and stuffed animals around her body and tucked them close as well. As if she was creating a second skin, she would lie really still so as to not create an avalanche of toys falling off of her bed. The only room she left herself was a little area near her face so she could look out for someone coming.

She did not know any other way to guard against a person coming in and taking her away. She after all was a little person and there was so many “monsters” in her house. She just knew if she let her guard down she would surely be taken away.  She always waited till she heard no one else in the house stirring and waited until the lights were all turned out before she felt some sense of relief. She did not really ever sleep well back then. She still can’t.

The largest of her toys were placed around her legs and belly area. She figured there was a good place because her legs and body would be hard to make out. Like it would create some kind of confusion. She placed the fuzziest ones near her face and chest, this was so she could look through all that fuzz, but yet remain unspotted while spying out into the room. Yes, all this made perfect sense to her. She was the one who went on to do this night-time ritual every single night. It seemed to work for the most part.

All except a few times , that is. Those few times would guarantee that she never would let up her ritualistic behavior, and that would be her main reason to come up with even better ways of “evading’ the monsters in the house. Now if she had friends over, she was not worried at all and her toys and dolls had a much-needed break from surrounding her. She felt that with her friend or friends over she was spared,

She also made sure that she never left any skin exposed at night, She would wear something covering her from head to foot and she would make sure of that. That was yet another ritual at night for her. This was to ensure that the monsters would not see or touch her skin. She was afraid if they did, she would be tortured for sure. She always wanted to seem invisible. Invisible was a great wish of hers back in her younger years.

Being invisible would have saved her many difficult circumstances, and kept her from prying eyes and moving hands. If only!

To be continued…

MwsR <3



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