WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON
As families and loved ones gather across the Flathead valley over the coming weeks to celebrate the holidays, I want to extend our season’s greetings to you and your family. During this time of year, our thoughts and prayers go out to the men and women, and their families, who sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms.
As you're sprucing up your home this season, keep an eye out for these common holiday trip-ups, fire hazards, and other safety items.
1. Smoke Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home -- especially near sleeping areas.
2. Gas behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.
3. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.
4. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.
5. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.
6. One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.