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Holiday safety at Andersen

Posted 11/30/2012   Updated 11/30/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
36th Wing Public Affairs


11/30/2012 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- As the holiday season approaches, it is important to keep the safety of family members and others in mind.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year emergency rooms treat approximately 12,500 people with injuries related to the holiday season. Common holiday injuries are often caused by improper care of live Christmas trees, and improper use of electrical cords.

Unattended live Christmas trees alone are involved in approximately 300 fires annually, resulting on average in 10 deaths, 30 injuries, and a yearly average of $10 million in property damage and loss.

When selecting a live tree, it is important to check for freshness. "A fresh tree is green; the needles are hard to pull from the branches and will not break when you try to bend them," said Tech. Sgt. Carlos Rogers, 36th Wing noncommissioned officer in charge of ground safety. "When you tap the tree on the ground, you should not lose many needles. Dry trees can catch fire in a matter of seconds, so keep them well watered to prevent them from drying out."

Christmas lights on trees and houses are also a main contributor to holiday incidents. Make sure before purchasing and hanging lights that they bear the mark of a recognized testing lab, so they meet current safety standards.

The major concern when hanging Christmas lights is the misuse of extension cords, which can lead to household fires.

Per Air Force Instruction 91-203 Air Force Consolidated Occupational Safety Instruction, "disconnect extension cords when not in use and do not run through doorways, windows or underneath carpet."

"With the holidays right around the corner it is essential for everyone to take a moment to slow down and think overall safety," said Lt. Col. Adrienne Williams, 36th Wing chief of safety. By taking a little extra time to be safe and smart, you will help avoid holiday mishaps."

For more information on staying safe this holiday season contact the 36th WIng safety office at 366-7231.



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