Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Tree Safety

Trim the Tree Safely
Trimming the tree is a traditional holiday pastime. However, if they are not properly cared for, Christmas trees can pose a serious danger. The Home Safety Council offers the following tips to keep in mind when selecting and caring for your Christmas tree this holiday season:

  • When buying a live tree, look at the needles. If they are brown or break easily, choose another tree. Test for freshness by bending a few needles in half. If the needles snap in two, the tree is dry - look for a tree with needles that spring back to their original shape.  
  • When you take your tree home, put it in a sturdy, non-tip stand filled with water.
  • Give the tree plenty of water. Dry trees can catch on fire easily.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any flame or heat source.
  • Never put candles on or near your tree.  
  • Put your tree near the electrical outlet. Do not block the exit.
  • Before you put the lights on the tree, look at every bulb. If the string of lights does not look perfect, throw the lights away and get new ones.  
  • Lights do not last long. Replace your lights as soon as you see any signs of damage.
  • Look on the box for a mark that says ETL, UL or CSA. This means the lights have been tested for safety.
  • Read the directions. Only use as many strings of lights as it says is safe to use.
  • When decorating indoors, use only those lights listed for indoor use. Unplug all lights, inside and out, before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Safely get rid of your tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are flammable. They should not be left inside the home or garage, or placed against the house.  
  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
  • Make sure your family knows what to do to get outside safely in a fire. Practice a family fire drill so your family and guests know the plan.

 When finding and caring for your Christmas tree this holiday season, just remember the word "STAR":



Space: Keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source or flames such as candles and fireplaces.

Turn off the lights when you leave the room or go to sleep.

Add water daily to keep your tree from drying out too fast.

Replace lights when they are cracked or the wire is frayed. Holiday lights should be replaced about every 3 years. Look for the UL label on the box so you know they have been tested for safety

Tips for Holiday Electrical Safety


Holiday lights help make the season beautiful. They can also cause home fires. To keep your family safe:

Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical Safety

Look at each string of lights carefully. If any are cracked or damaged, buy new ones


Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical Safety
When you buy new lights, look at the box for a label that shows they have been tested for safety, such as ETL or UL.
Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical Safety
Follow the directions on the box. It will tell you how many strings to use together. As a rule, UL recommends using no more than three standard-size sets of lights together.


Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical Safety

Hang or mount light strands carefully to avoid damaging the cord's insulation

Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical Safety

Do not plug in too many things at one time. Use a surge protector.

  • Unplug all holiday lights when you go to sleep or leave home.
  • Plug outdoor decorations into outlets protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent shock.

Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical Safety Automatic lighting timers can be used to ensure that lights are not left on by mistake. These are available for both indoor and outdoor use.

Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical SafetyDo not put electrical cords under rugs. Try to keep them away from places people walk.

Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical SafetyWhen replacing a holiday bulb, be sure to use the correct bulb size (wattage) that is right for the fixture.

Home Safety - Tips for Holiday Electrical SafetyUse safety caps to keep children from putting things into electrical receptacles/outlets.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rear-Facing – The Facts and the Myths CPS CEUS

Rear-Facing – The Facts and the Myths

Join us for a Webinar on December 8
Space is limited.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

The enhanced protection provided by rear-facing child restraints has been known for years in technical circles, and the body of evidence supporting an extended rear-facing period is growing. Authoritative bodies like the AAP and NHTSA have consistently expanded and reinforced their recommendations for keeping children facing the rear longer with each revision of their positions, and the maximum limits of many child restraint models have followed suit. Nevertheless, most children are faced forward long before they reach those limits, and generalizations about how rear-facing child restraints should be installed and used continue in the advocate arena.

This session looks at the facts about rear-facing child restraints, along with some of the educational issues that need to be updated, corrected and refined. Attendees will receive:

- Awareness of recent research on rear-facing effectiveness

- A better understanding of how rear-facing child restraints perform

- A better understanding of injuries reduced by longer rear-facing use

- A better understanding of child restraint installation and usage techniques that can reduce the need for foam noodles and locking clips

- Awareness of features that may enhance rear-facing protection

Dorel Juvenile Group and Safe Ride News are proud to sponsor this webinar in partnership with Joseph M. Colella, Child Passenger Safety Instructor from Traffic Safety Projects. By participating in this webinar, you are eligible to receive one CEU credit towards your Child Passenger Safety Technician or Instructor certification.

Joe Colella is a nationally respected consultant, speaker, instructor, correspondent and advocate. Since becoming involved in occupant protection advocacy, he has worked on improvement and educational efforts with many national organizations. He was also one of the original certified instructors for the National Standardized CPS Training Program, is a past Chairman of the National CPS Board, and has personally helped with education in 45 states.

Rear-Facing – The Facts and the Myths

Thursday, December 8, 2011

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Monday, November 7, 2011

Home Safety Tips

1. Generator Use If using a generator at home, please be aware of the following safety tips from WMECO, especially that you should never connect the generator to your home’s main electrical panel.

Use qualified electrician to install a stationary or stand-by emergency generator.

Install a special safety transfer switch, required by the National Electric Code. The switch prevents the generator from back-feeding electricity onto the power lines which could be deadly to unsuspecting workers.

Read and adhere to the manufacturer's instructions for safe operation. Don't cut corners when it comes to safety. Carefully read and observe all instructions in your portable electric generator's owner manual, and always follow state, local, and national fire and electric codes.

Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.

Keep children and pets away from portable electric generators at all times.

Always operate generators outdoors to avoid the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Just like your automobile, a portable generator uses an internal combustion engine that emits deadly carbon monoxide. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house. Only operate it outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, and ensure you have protected it from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a canopy, open shed or carport.

And never:
Connect the generator to your home's main electrical panel. Again, you could be putting your life and that of your family and our workers in jeopardy.

Plug a portable electric generator into a regular household outlet. Plugging a generator into a regular household outlet can energize "dead" power lines and injure neighbors or utility workers.

Overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics, so you must prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should also be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.
For more information visit:

2. Before Your Power Comes Back

· Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
· Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
· Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
· Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them. Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area. Both WMECO and National Grid have online reporting systems.
3. Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are on the rise due to the use of alternative heat and energy sources. Please be sure you and your families are aware of the following:

· Carbon monoxide, found in combustion fumes, is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death.
· Sources of carbon monoxide in the home include malfunctioning furnaces, water heaters, ovens, stoves, gas-fired dryers, clogged chimneys, corroded flue pipes, and unvented space heaters. Automobiles left running in attached garages also pose a hazard, even if the garage doors are open.
· CO from these combustion fumes can build up in places that don’t have a good flow of fresh air.
· Common symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, fatigue, nausea and dizziness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
· Infants, children and unborn babies are especially vulnerable.

Tips to protect you against CO poisoning:

· Never use a stove for heating.
· Do not use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or near a window.
· Never leave a car, SUV, or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even if the garage door is open.
· Install a CO alarm outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home.
· Place CO alarms at least 15 feet away from every fuel-burning appliance to reduce the number of nuisance alarms.
· Make sure alarms can be heard when you test them and practice an escape plan with your entire family.

If your CO alarm goes off:
· Get everyone out of the house as quickly as possible into fresh air. Then call for help from a neighbor’s home or a cell phone outside of your home.
· If someone is experiencing CO poisoning symptoms, call 911 for medical attention.
· If no one is experiencing symptoms, call the fire department. They will let you know when it is safe to re-enter your home.
· For more information on carbon monoxide, visit