Stillman and Friedland wish our clients and all of Middle Tennessee a happy and safe holiday season.
We hope you will use our blog as a guideline for home holiday safety and then enjoy a worry-free and pleasant Christmas with family and friends.
We surveyed the holiday safety information this year, and with home fire safety especially in mind, we offer you these key points:
Infograph By Creative Safety Supply
Your Christmas tree, decorative lighting, and electronic gadget gifts are all potential fire hazards. Two general fire safety precautions you should take at home are:
• Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher at home, stored in a handy location. The kitchen is a good place since many home fires start here.
• Check existing smoke detectors and replace the batteries if needed. If you don’t have smoke detectors outside the bedrooms, now is the time to install them.
Last week, the Tennessee State Fire Marshall reminded Tennesseans that a dry tree is a dangerous tree. If you choose a live tree, keep it watered and fresh for fire prevention. Always cut off the bottom 2 inches of the tree before putting it in water. The dried-out end cannot absorb water, so removing it allows the tree to re-hydrate. Ask the seller to do this for you, to avoid doing it yourself. If you are far from home, you can use a damp rag to wrap the base until you get home. Artificial trees should be flame retardant. Look for product information before buying to see if the tree is certified safe.
Lights, Toys & Gadgets
Always use lights that are safety certified, and use them as designated—use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors. The savings from cheap lights will fade quickly if they catch fire. The same is true of batteries.
Never let small children play with batteries; they are a choking and poisoning hazard. Always check that battery-operated toys have battery compartments that kids cannot open. Toys have those annoying battery compartments with screws to keep little fingers from getting to the batteries.
Make sure that toys are safety-certified. A consumer safety watchdog group tested a wide variety of retail button-operated electronic products, and found that nearly one in five did not pass the “drop test”, breaking and exposing dangerous lithium batteries. In these days when many products are produced by fly-by-night overseas manufacturers, it is best to buy quality items, not cheapies.
It is nearly impossible to claim damages incurred from overseas companies with a long trail of contractors and producers.
You have probably heard about the hoverboard craze this year.
This hot item is really just too hot! While your kids would love to have one, until there are safety standards and the lithium batteries stop exploding, this is not a product anyone should buy, no matter what the price.
This is the position of consumer affairs organization Best Reviews, and we concur. Please note that airlines do not allow hoverboards on the plane at all because of the fire hazard, and some cities have banned them outright.
• Review and use basic food safety while preparing and storing holiday meals.
Stillman and Friedland thank all our clients and readers for a wonderful year, and we look forward to serving your legal needs in the coming year.
We wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season!