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Happy Holidays Begin At Home: Top Tips For Safe Celebrations


Dec 13, 2018

SOURCE: American Home Furnishings Alliance or prnewswire.com

HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — As you prepare your home for memorable holiday celebrations, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk of seasonal dangers. Help ensure your family and friends remain safe by taking a few precautions recommended by the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

1. Be careful with candles and fireplaces.
Position holiday candles at least a foot away from anything flammable such as furniture, trees, festive greenery, fabrics, and clothing. Warn children of the danger of candles, and don’t leave youngsters or pets unattended in rooms where candles are burning. Be sure to extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Screen your fireplace, as snaps and pops from the logs can result in live sparks. And, don’t burn wrapping paper or other materials that can generate an uncontrollable flash fire.

You can limit the risk of fire all year long by purchasing furniture with an Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) tag, indicating that the materials in its construction are unlikely to ignite when in contact with smoldering ashes. Even with this tag, any upholstered furniture can ignite if exposed to open flame, so be sure to keep sofas, chairs and ottomans a safe distance from matches, lighters, candles and the fireplace.

2. Don’t trip up your electric system.
Overloading your electrical system with too many, worn-out, or poorly installed decorations can result in tragedy. Adding extension cords and power strips improperly also can create a fire danger. Don’t be tempted to run cords under rugs, or across doorways, stairways or walkways, as they can cause tripping or falling accidents.

3. Test all smoke detectors.
Take a moment in early December (the month with most home fires) and check that your smoke detector batteries are charged. It is recommended you have one in each bedroom, one outside each sleeping area, and one on each level of your home.

4. Secure your furniture.
Make sure your entertainment center, consoles, dressers, bookcases, and any pieces that hold a TV are firmly in place. Secure flat-screens and older, CRT TVs so they don’t tip over if bumped or moved. Home safety specialists recommend securing any furniture over 30 inches tall to the wall with a furniture tip restraint if young children will be present, and never place a television on furniture that was not designed to accommodate electronics. More anchoring tips are at www.AnchorIt.gov.

5. Monitor recliner use.
Power motion chairs and sofa seats often attract the attention of guests seeking to relax or children who want to play on them. Demonstrate how to operate these properly and insist on supervision of any children who might want to try them out. Always return recliners to the upright and closed position when not in use to avoid injury.

6. Beware of bunk beds.
Holidays often involve overnight guests, sometimes sleeping in bunk beds that are older or not in daily use. If so, check that bed construction follows the current Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines addressing general safety features like guardrails and end panels. Remind children (and their parents!) that they should not jump or play roughly on the beds or ladder. Top bunks are not considered safe for children under 6.

7. Secure area rugs.
Loose area rugs, carpets with frayed or damaged edges and bulky or sliding mats can be dangerous for those unfamiliar with your home or guests with mobility issues. Take a walk-through and inspect your floor coverings to make sure they are secured and safe for the whole family, from younger members who may be running around to the elderly using canes or walkers.

8. Protect the pit.
Fire pits are a terrific way to bring holiday entertaining outdoors and, by following the manufacturers’ instructions for use and maintenance, you can minimize any risk from the heat and flames. Always be prepared with a fire extinguisher, water container or garden hose nearby. Never leave children or pets alone near the fire pit, and don’t light them if it is windy.

“We hope that by following these simple steps to a safer home, families can experience all the joys of the holiday season without worrying about the safety of those who visit,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of public relations and marketing for AHFA.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 230 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

SOURCE American Home Furnishings Alliance

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