Commit a Minute to Safety

Some of the most wonderful memories we make in our lifetime happen during the holidays, but according to studies 17 children go to the ER every minute for unnecessary injuries, and the number only increases during the holiday season!  It makes a lot of sense why the number increases, bright lights entrance, the flickering of the fire and/or candles intrigue, and maybe even because some of the electrical decorations we only take out once a year have frayed cords.

So how exactly can we prevent these problems before they start in terms of safety?  It’s not tough, and it doesn’t take long.  Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading independent safety organization, is calling all parents, specifically moms, to set aside time in their schedule to commit at least one minute to safety each day this holiday season.

So this is a challenge not only for you, but for myself as well.  I tend to get lax in the safety department, since I don’t have small children in my home any more.  But that doesn’t mean my family is not at risk for safety hazards.

Today I took my minute and looked around my home.  One of the things I noticed that I could do to keep my family safer was to unplug all the appliances that I’m not actively using, like my toaster, coffee maker, counter top water heater, etc.  It’s a lot safer when there is no current running through it, and if I’m not using it anyway, there’s no need to have it plugged in.

I think tomorrow we’re going to take a few minutes and test all of our smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly.

UL has provided me with some tips for a safer holiday that I’d like to share with you.  I’m only listing some of them, so be sure to visit to view more ways to stay safe.

1. Plan your fire escape:  Use the holidays as a good time to practice a fire escape plan with your loved ones.  Identify at least two exits from every room in the house.

2. Sleep safe, install smoke alarms:  UL recommends using both types of smoke alarms in your home.  Be sure that at least one smoke alarm is installed on each floor of your home, and always close to sleeping areas.

3. Give wrapping paper a second life:  Don’t burn used wrapping paper as it may cause intense flash fires.  And throwing it out adds waste.  Consider recycling or repurposing it instead.

4. Know your lights and cords:  Do not connect more than three miniature light strings together.  Also, be sure to check the rating on your extension cords, and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage.

5. Steer your tree clear:  Your tree should be positioned at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources.  It should also not block any doorways or exits.

6. Decorate with a safe eye:  Cords should not be run under carpets and lights should not be tacked up with metal nails or staples.  Small decorations can be choking hazards so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.

7. Look for UL:  Only use light strings and other electrical decorations that bear the UL Mark near the plug, signifying that safety standards have been met.

So now tell me how you’re going to Commit a Minute to holiday safety in your home.  Please leave a comment letting me know.  I want to take your good ideas and use them in my home!  If you have a great tip you want to share, here, copy it and head over to the UL site and post them there as well, for many more people to see, you can visit it at

“I wrote this feature while participating in a blog campaign by GolinHarris on behalf of UL and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

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