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Safety Tips for the Holidays

The holidays should be a time for joyous get-togethers with friends and family to celebrate the season and ring in the New Year. But too often, common sense and caution take a back seat to celebration and accidents occur that require a call to 911.

Here are a few safety tips, courtesy of Allstate Insurance, that can help keep you and your family safe this holiday season:

Candles and Christmas Light Safety

Flickering candlelight looks beautiful, but real candles should never be used on or near a Christmas tree (the earliest Christmas trees were illuminated by candles). Even Christmas lights can pose a fire safety problem. Frayed wires left unattended can overheat, turning a dry tree into a raging inferno in just seconds. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, home holiday decorations cause over 400 holiday fires each year, resulting in $15 million in property loss and damage.

Safety tip: Decorating for Christmas shouldn’t be a hazard. Only use electric lights that are rated for Christmas trees and tested by a recognized laboratory (you’ll usually find a sticker noting the laboratory’s approval on the cord), and keep your tree well-watered to reduce flammability.

Fried Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Beware the turkey fryer! Crisp, fried turkey may taste delicious, but splattered hot oil can easily start a serious house fire or burn anyone nearby. In addition to the danger of splattering oil igniting flammable objects nearby, the oil itself can overheat and catch fire.

Safety tip: If fried turkey is part of your family’s Thanksgiving tradition, consider these fire safety tips: don’t overfill a fryer with oil (leave enough room to avoid spills when you add the turkey); never put a frozen turkey directly in hot oil; or, use an infrared fryer to safely cook your bird instead.

Roof-Top Holiday Decorations

Crawling onto the roof to string lights or set up Santa’s sleigh sends nearly 5,800 people to the hospital emergency room each year, according to a study by Electrical Safety Foundation International. Accidental falls from the roof or an unstable ladder can result in broken bones, concussions or even something worse.

Safety tip: If possible, avoid climbing onto the roof to set up holiday decor. If you must use a ladder, make sure it is securely positioned, and ask another adult to hold it for you. Children should never climb ladders.

Black Friday Door-Buster Shopping Stampedes

Scoring a door-buster deal on Black Friday is an annual tradition for many American shoppers. Lining up and racing into a store right when it opens, however, can be extremely dangerous. Every year, there are reports of people being trampled by over-eager shoppers.

Stay safe: Many stores are now staggering door-buster deals over several hours. Skip the stampede and arrive later in the day; no shopping savings are worth risking injury.

However, even when people take extra care to celebrate safely, accidents can happen. When they do, MedStar is here to help. Our highly trained and experienced ambulance crews are standing by 24/7 to respond quickly to emergency calls.

Prompt, efficient, effective patient care is the cornerstone of everything we do here at MedStar Ambulance. Constant training, leading edge technology, and an unwavering dedication to the highest quality patient care sets us apart from the competition.

So while we encourage you to relax and enjoy the holidays, we want to remind you that the staff at MedStar is always alert and ready to respond should a medical emergency arise.


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Worcester, MA

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