Christmas decorations

Winter Holiday Safety

Winter Safety Holiday Video

Secretary of Defense Memorandum

People decorating a tree

1.  Use non-flammable decorations

2.  Check holiday lights annually for excessive wear, and replace strings of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections

3.  Do not link more than three strands of holiday lights

4.  Keep decorations away from windows, fireplaces and doors

5.  Remember, some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both

6.  Place burning candles in stable holders where they cannot be knocked down easily, and never leave them unattended

7.  Keep Christmas trees away from heat sources and exits

8.  Only purchase live Christmas trees that are fresh and green with needles that are hard to pull from branches

9.  Water live Christmas trees daily to prevent them from catching on fire

10.  Never use electric lights on metallic trees

11.  When using a ladder to hang decorations, always make sure the ladder is on even and solid ground, and keep three body parts in contact with the ladder at all times

12.  Never run electrical cords under rugs or carpeting; it's also best to tape cords down to avoid trip hazards

Kids and Pets - Child huging dog

1.  Holiday decorations can easily be mistaken for a shiny snack, so keep bite-sized ornaments out of reach (this includes items like tinsel)

2.  Remember, mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies and holly berries are all toxic; it's best to avoid decorating with these plants if you have kids and/or pets

3.  Ensure children and/or pets don't have access to open trash cans and table scraps

4.  Keep children/pets away from cooking areas; use back burners and turn pot handles inward

5.  Keep fires and flames out of reach of both children and pets

6.  If you have a live Christmas tree, ensure kids/pets cannot drink the water from the stand or consume fallen pine needles

Holiday Fire Safety info-graphic

Security - two hooded men burglarizing a home

1.  Don't leave keys hidden outside your home, as burglars often know how to spot the most common hiding places quickly

2.  To make it look like someone is home, set a DVR to record shows at random times so the TV will come on

3.  Use timers for lights in several different rooms within your home and set them to come on and off at random times

4.  Avoid posting any status updates or public announcements on social media sites or blogs regarding travel plans

5.  Have a trusted friend or neighbor pickup your newspapers, mail or other expected deliveries

Food Safety - people sitting at table full of food

1.  Fully cook meats; insert a meat thermometer into the densest part and check for these temps:

* Turkey/Poultry 165⁰ F

* Beef Roast 145⁰ F

* Fresh Ham 160⁰ F

* Fully-cooked Ham 140⁰ F

2.  Thoroughly wash raw vegetables and fruits

3.  Wash hands, cutting boards and preparation surfaces between uses, especially after handling raw meat

4.  Be sure to keep hot liquids and foods away from the edges of counters and tables, where they can easily be knocked over by young children

5.  Never put a spoon used to taste food back into the food without washing it

6.  Bring leftovers to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to eliminate bacterial growth; never reheat a portion more than once

7.  Always thaw food in a refrigerator, NOT at room temperature

8.  Refrigerate food promptly if not eating right away or within two hours of cooking

Online Shopping - person using a computer with credit card in hand

1.  Only buy from sites that start with "https://"

2.  Verify the business you are buying from is legitimate by using sites like or

3.  Make sure your security software is up-to-date before shopping

4.  Never enter sensitive or financial information into pop-up windows on suspicious emails

5.  Dedicate one credit card for all your shopping needs

6.  Do not shop using public Wi-Fi

7.  Create complex passwords on shopping sites, combining letters, numbers and special characters

8.  Turn off Bluetooth and switch to cellular before you make a purchase

Shopping - Two people shopping

1.  Shop with a friend or in a group; never shop alone

2.  Be alert; always be aware of your surroundings

3.  Share your shopping itinerary with someone you trust

4.  Bring only the cash and credit cards you will need

5.  Never keep your wallet or phone in your back pocket

6.  Ladies, keep your purse closed and toward the front of your body

7.  Always park and stand in well-lit areas

Holiday Safety Videos

Awareness is Key! Always read the labels

Food Safety Tips - Four Steps to food safety poster