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Loyola's Burn Center offers winter holiday safety tips to prevent house fires, burn injuries

MAYWOOD, Ill. The Burn Center at Loyola University Medical Center is urging the public to be careful when decorating their homes for the holidays because many electrical appliances and seasonal decorations pose a potential fire hazard.

To help make the holidays a joyous time, Loyola is launching a burn prevention public service campaign to help people reduce the risk of house fires and burn injuries. The safety tips are available in English and Spanish on Loyola's Web site:

Key tips for the winter holidays include:

  • Keep holiday electrical decorations and lights away from children and pets.
  • Holiday decorations should be non-combustible or made of flame resistant or flame retardant materials.
  • Only use space heaters, electrical lights and appliances that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. Follow manufacturers' directions.
  • Inspect all lights before plugging them in; even if they are new.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
  • Unplug all Christmas tree lights before you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Position live trees away from fireplaces, space heaters and radiators.
  • Keep a clear path in all rooms in case you have to exit quickly. Gift wrapping, boxes, mail shipments can crowd up the room.