The holiday season centers around friends, family and fun, but without the proper safety precautions, it can take a turn for the worse. Thousands interrupt their festive plans to visit the emergency room forholiday-related injuries. Keep you and your loved ones out of the hospital with these easy-to-follow safety tips.

Reduce the Risk of Fire
Particularly prominent in winter months, residential house fires --nearly 47,000 each yearaccording to the Red Cross -- often spark from malfunctioning or improperly used heaters, unattended candles and misplaced holiday decorations.

Help prevent injury and property loss by keeping flammable objects at least three feet away from heat sources, and never leave lit candles, fireplaces and stoves unattended. Equip each floor of your home withsmoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Avoid Falls
Falls associated with holiday decorations account fornearly 6,000 emergency room visitseach year. Minimize your risk of injury by taking extra care when hanging decor, and if you need a boost, use a ladder or step stool. When you have a more extensive project like holiday lights on your home's exterior, consider hiring a professional to tackle the work for you.

Be Cautious With Plants
Whiletraditional holiday plantslike mistletoe, lilies, holly and poinsettias add a festive touch, they can also be dangerous to your furry friends. From intestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and fatal heart problems, pets can suffer if they decide to give these varieties a taste.

Looking forward to enjoying the holiday season? Help ensure you do just that by taking these safety precautions.

Posted 2:56 PM  View Comments

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