Ul Urges Consumers To Think Safety During The Holidays

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22nd December 2009, 09:49am - Views: 776

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UL Urges Consumers to Think Safety During the Holidays

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Families Could be at Risk for Home Fires and Deaths Due to Hazardous Holiday 


    It's the time of year when twinkling lights, gently glowing candles and festive

decor adorn homes everywhere. While most people look forward to these holiday

traditions, they may forget that they can pose very real safety dangers to them and

their families.

    The season of joy is unfortunately also a season for thousands of injuries and

home fires caused by holiday decorations. This holiday season Underwriters

Laboratories (UL), one of the world's leading product safety certification

organizations, is reminding consumers to think about safety to avoid holiday mishaps.

If not done mindfully, cheerful activities could quickly dampen holiday spirits.

Products like light strings can become worn after years of use, and they may cause

fire or electric shock.

    "Decorating the tree, stringing holiday lights and other holiday traditions are

what every family wants to remember," said John Drengenberg, director of Consumer

Safety at UL. "Sadly, all can be a fire hazard or cause an electric shock or injury,

so families should take a few minutes to think about the most precious gift of all

when celebrating this year: safety."


    -- A fresh tree is very important. If the needles are not fresh, there is 

       a greater risk of fire. Ask your tree lot attendant to make a fresh cut 

       to the base of the tree and place it in water as soon as you get home. 

       Position the tree in a stand that holds at least one gallon of water 

       and check moisture level daily. Dispose of your tree after 

       approximately four weeks.

    -- Light it right. Carefully inspect each electrical decoration - new or 

       old -- before plugging it in... look for cracked sockets or frayed, 

       exposed wires that could become a shock or fire hazard. Replace damaged 

       items with new decorations.

    -- Holiday lights - indoor or outdoor? Look at product packaging to 

       determine where a decoration should be used. Indoor-only decorations 

       should not be used outside because they have not been designed or 

       tested to withstand elements like wind, rain and heat or cold. 

    -- Be skeptical about savings. If the price is too good to be true, it 

       probably is. Be wary of buying decorations in non reputable stores. You 

       want to make sure what you are buying is not counterfeit as counterfeit 

       products have not been tested for safety.


    -- Exercise candle care. Place candles out of reach of children and away 

       from heavy traffic areas in your home. Never leave a room with candles 


    -- Stand by your pan. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Stay in 

       the kitchen when you are cooking, frying or broiling.

    -- Practice makes the holiday perfect. Use the holiday season as an 

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       opportunity to practice a fire escape plan with your children. Every 

       family member should know at least two ways to get out of each room in 

       the home.

    -- Gift donations. If you plan to give to those in need, think safety. 

       Consider donating toys your children no longer play with - but are in 

       good condition for second-hand use. Before donating toys with 

       electrical components, make sure they do not have frayed or bare 

       wires/cords as they can potentially cause fire or shock hazards.

    "There will be many opportunities for stress and accidents this holiday.

Remembering to think about safety while decorating your home will help give comfort

to you and your family," says Drengenberg.

    About Underwriters Laboratories

    Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification

organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over

a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and

systems, with 20 billion UL Marks appearing on 72,000 manufacturers' products each

year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 64

laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 98 countries.

For more information, visit: http://www.ul.com/newsroom.

SOURCE: Underwriters Laboratories

    CONTACT: Joe Hirschmugl,

             Media Relations Manager of Underwriters Laboratories, 



             or Tina Janczura Stanton of GolinHarris,



             for UL

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