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Everyone here at the Lafaro Insurance Agency would like to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season andan upcoming New Years! As webegin to get into the holiday spirit, it is important that we stay safe in the process. Whether it be stringing lights up in your yard, or lighting candles inside your home, it is important to follow all rules of assembly and have precaution witheach item. We want to protect you from accidents such as falling, starting fires, and many other unexpected holiday perils (or hazards).

A very popular Christmas tradition in theUnited States is using a real tree during the Christmas season. As beautiful as real trees may be, it is very important to keep it from being a major fire hazard. First, make sure that your tree stays well hydrated. A dry tree is incredibly flammable. And another thing, no matter how picturesque is may be, never put your tree near your fireplace or any other heat source. With a tree next to a fireplace, it is much more likely to catch fire. Putting your tree next to a heat source could make it dry out much faster than intended. Also, to the best of your ability, keep pets, especially cats away from the tree; this could create a falling hazard. And if you decide to go the route of an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as "fire resistant".
**Quick Tip: if the needles on your tree are brittle and are easily pulled off, this means that your tree is dry. A fresh tree's needles are hard to pull out.**
Christmas lights can add quite a magical element when decorating. Whether your home has big and colorful bulbs, or small white bulbs that twinkle in the night sky, these lights can be absolutely beautiful. But as you are decorating, it is very important to stay vigilant and pay attention to the directions and the wattages of each string. Make sure that the lights that you use are UL approved. Also, make sure that all outlets have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Also, really pay attention to the lights that you buy.
Make sure the box has an "outdoor" label present, because not all lights are safe from the elements such as rain or snow. Another quick safety tip, when using a ladder in your front yard, or anywhere in your home, make sure you have a spotter. Ladders can sometimes be wobbly, so make sure that there is someone standing below you keeping the ladder steady. Also, if you have young kids or rowdy pets, make sure they are nowhere near the ladder. Accidents can happen at anytime, and a distracted person on a ladder is not a good idea.
Holiday Baking Safety
The Holiday Season is a great time for baking all sorts of yummy treats. People love to spend time with their families and bake holiday themed cookies and other desserts. Just make sure that you are careful with all raw foods, especially raw cookie dough which contains raw eggs. The good news is that companies have now adapted to people's love of raw cookie dough that they now make them safer to eat and enjoy. Also when baking cookies, make sure a timer is always set so they do not end up burning and maybe causing the smoke alarm to go off. And if you decide to bake anything using the stovetop, make sure to keep your eye on it and not leave it unattended.
Fire Safety
As mentioned earlier, do not locate your Christmas tree in front of a functionalfireplace. When lighting candles, always blow them out before leaving your home and never fall asleep with them on. Also, keep them in high places and on sturdy furniture, that way there is a lesser chance of them tipping over. Christmas, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day are the top three days for candle fires, so it is important to stay extremely vigilant. One last thing, do not place any presents in front of a furnace or any other heat source--this could definitely cause a fire, because as we all know, paper is extremely fammable.
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