It’s the 2019 holiday season, and the American Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe as they decorate their homes for upcoming festivities.
Did you know that Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are the top three days for home candle fires? Follow these simple tips to have a safe holiday, and test your smoke alarms and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone in your household can get out in two minutes or less. Visit redcross.org/homefires for free resources or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).
10 HOLIDAY DECORATING SAFETY TIPS
- Use battery-operated candles. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended, keep them away from anything that could burn, and place them out of reach from children and pets.
- Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken. Don’t string too many strands of lights together — no more than three per extension cord.
- When decorating outside, make sure decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
- If buying an artificial tree, look for the fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat.
- If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and water it to keep it fresh. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.
- Don’t use electric lights on metallic trees.
- If hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel, don’t light the fireplace.
- Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
- If using older decorations, check their labels. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.
- If using a ladder, be extra careful. Make sure to have good, stable placement and wear shoes that allow for good traction.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVE LIVES Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S. To prevent fire tragedies, the Red Cross is working with community partners to install free smoke alarms and help families create escape plans through its Home Fire Campaign — which has saved at least 658 lives nationwide since launching in October 2014. Across the country, Red Cross volunteers and partners have:
- Installed nearly 2 million free smoke alarms.
- Reached more than 1.5 million children through youth preparedness programs.
- Made more than 822,000 households safer from the threat of home fires.
You can help save lives by making a financial donation to support our mission, registering to become a volunteer or taking steps to protect your family from home fires. Visit redcross.org to learn more.
CORPORATIONS, FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: AmazonSmile; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Verizon; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and Wells Fargo.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; CSX; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Discover; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company; Fox Corporation; General Motors; Grainger; HCA Healthcare; Humble Bundle; IBM Corporation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; LHC Group; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Nissan North America; PepsiCo Foundation; Procter & Gamble; PwC Charitable Foundation; Sands Cares; Southwest Airlines; The Starbucks Foundation; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; The USAA Foundation, Inc.; and The Wawa Foundation.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; American Express; Assurant; AstraZeneca; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; BMW of North America; CarMax; The Coca-Cola Company; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Consumer Cellular; Cox Enterprises; DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Dominion Energy; Duke Energy; Duke Realty; Edison International; Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation; GE Foundation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; John Deere Foundation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Medtronic Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; The Pfizer Foundation; Prudential Financial; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.