Red Cross offering 7 tips for safe holiday season

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ILLINOIS - The American Red Cross is encouraging people to utilize certain safety measures in order to keep their homes and loved ones safe from the threat of fire this holiday season.

Red Cross officials say that during the holiday season, approximately 40 home fires each day are caused by children playing, and that candle fires are also four times as likely to occur.  Therefore, the American Red Cross is sharing seven safety tips that can help keep your home and family safe this year.

1) Pets, children, and decorations should be kept away from lit candles.

2) Use a timer when cooking to ensure you don't forget about meals in the oven, and do not leave the house while cooking.

3) If you decide to use an artificial tree or decorations, choose ones that are flame resistant, and keep it away from heat sources and exits.

4) Install smoke alarms, and never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended.

5) If you decide to hang stockings near or on a fireplace, do not use that fireplace for fires.

6) Keep flammable items a minimum of three feet away from anything that gets hot, like stoves or sources of heat.

7) Replace any strings of lights with broken or worn cords, or loose light bulb connections.  Also, do not connect more than three strands of mini light sets.

For more Red Cross safety information, visit redcross.org/prepare.

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