Senator Serrano Urges Observing Some Simple Rules Of Safety This Holiday Season

José M. Serrano

December 06, 2005

Saying that "care and caution in the home–and on the road–while observing the holiday season will go a long way toward keeping it a safe and happy one," State Senator Jose Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) is offering some helpful tips to help ensure a safe celebration.

"The holidays are a wonderful time of celebration and reflection, but often in our hurriedness to complete our tasks, we are not always mindful of observing some basic rules to help keep us safe in our homes–and out of them," Senator Serrano said. "By taking some simple steps, we can help protect our homes from fire, keep our children free of injury from dangerous toys, protect against theft, and steer clear of foodborne illnesses."

Senator Serrano’s important holiday safety tips include:

- Avoid driving alone at night.
- If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
- DO NOT leave packages or valuables in the seat of your car. If you must
leavesomething in the car, LOCK IT IN THE TRUNK.
- Purchase smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors for
- Avoid overloading wall outlets and extension cords.
- Always turn off outdoor, indoor, and tree holiday lights before going to bed.
- Select toys to suit the age, abilities skills and interest level of theintended child. Toys
too advanced may pose safety hazards to younger children.
- Be careful of holiday gift wrapping like bags, paper ribbons and bows. These
itemscanposesuffocation and choking hazards to asmall child.
- Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a
strangulation hazard for babies.
- Cook all poultry products to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Farenheit. Use a
foodthermometer to monitor the internal meat temperatures.
- Keep foods separate -- don’t cross-contaminate! Always wash fresh fruits and
vegetables in cleansinks, and keep them away from meats, poultry, eggs, fish and
otherraw animal products.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commisssion, each year hospital emergency rooms treat about 10,800 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights, decorations and holiday trees. In addition, there are 11,000 candle-related fires each year, resulting in 150 deaths and 1,200 injuries annually. Holiday trees are involved in about 400 fires annually, resulting in 20 deaths, 70 injuries and an average of more than $15 million in property loss and damage.

"I hope people find these safety tips valuable as they celebrate the season," said Senator Serrano. "Let’s all have a safe and happy holiday!"

Further information about keeping safe this time of year can also be found on the internet at