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Holiday decoration safety

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PADUCAH, Ky - You've probably heard the dangers posed by your Christmas decorations. From the tree to the candles to the busy days of cooking and baking, accidents can happen easily during the holiday season. Here's what you need to know to make sure all those twinkling lights, sparkly trees and favorite holiday meal dishes don't turn into disasters.

First, make sure your artificial Christmas tree is free of dust and dander when you pull it out of storage. Also, make sure it stays clean while you have it set up. If you have a real tree, making sure you water it properly keeps it from drying out and reduces the chances it'll catch fire. All trees should be set up away from any source of heat, like a vent or a radiator and make sure you're not using lights approved for outdoor use because they can get hotter than indoor lights.

Second, think about candle safety. Whether you're using them for decorations or to fill the room with your favorite holiday scent, you should know the flame on a candle can reach up to 1,000 degrees in some cases. Consider trading them for L-E-D candles. 

Third, are those twinkling lights safe? They're not all created equal and that's why safety experts say you should check the label on them before you set them up. Also, look for frayed wires and cracked sockets. Don't repair them, replace them. Don't hang lights with metal nails or staples. They can cause a spark and make it difficult to take them down after Christmas. Make sure you use plastic hooks instead.

Fourth, safely multitasking while you cook and bake this holiday season. Carry around a hot pad with you when you leave the kitchen. It can serve as a reminder that you have something on the stove or in the oven and will be less likely to leave it unattended to burn.

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