It’s the time of year to come in from the cold and enjoy a casual evening with friends and family. Whether it’s the Academy Awards, The Superbowl, or the season premiere of Survivor, winter party planning can be fun, especially if you remember to keep it simple, work out a schedule and avoid any household danger-zones. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the leading product safety testing organization, has a script for the party that can help hosts create a safe celebration for family and friends:
START THE SHOW WITH SAFE EQUIPMENT INSTALLATIONS
Prevent your cheering guests from knocking over the TV. Overly excited fans are a given when watching a new premiere, awards show or sports game on TV. Make sure your TV and entertainment center are safely mounted.
Verify that furniture is stable on its own. For added security, anchor to the floor or attach all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving and bureaus to the wall using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws or toggles.
Place the TV on sturdy furniture appropriate for its size or on a low-rise base.
Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand.
Place electrical cords out of a child‘s reach and teach them not to play with the cords.
Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, like toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.
Don’t “hide” extension cords under a rug. Don’t run extension cords under carpets or heavy items. The wiring can become worn, overheat and potentially cause a fire. Instead, get a longer cord and route it along the walls and out of high traffic areas. Also, don’t use extension cords that are cut or damaged.
Home safety blooper: don’t plug too many cords into an outlet. Read manufacturer instructions for the device(s) you will be using on power strips. Plugging in too many products into an outlet or power strip may cause a power outage or a fire.
Purchase party products that have been tested for safety. Look for the UL Mark on electronics. Products that bear the UL Mark mean representative samples have been tested to UL’s rigorous safety standards and found to be free of foreseeable safety hazards.
take a commercial break: think SAFETY During SnackTime
Keep grills outside. Make sure the designated griller keeps his/her cooking outdoors. Grilling in garages, carports or inside the house is extremely dangerous. It could not only cause a fire, but also be a risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. UL suggests you plan ahead and pre-cook before the party or during commercial breaks and keep your grill a safe distance (10 feet if possible) from the side of your home.
Stand by your pan. Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking. Most fires in the kitchen occur because food is left unattended. If you must leave the kitchen or walk away from the grill for fear of missing part of the show, carry an oven mitt or grilling tongs with you as a reminder that something is cooking.
CHILD-PROOF FOR A FOOL-PROOF PARTY
Create safety zones to control the crowd. Limit the number of people in areas like the kitchen, especially when the stove or oven is in use.
Also, get down on your hands and knees to search each room for objects or situations that may endanger children who will be at your home. Pay attention to sharp corners and small objects.
Adjust the program for a fun and safe party for kids. Make your home ready for children. If you’re rearranging furniture for the party don’t block exits with large items in case of an emergency. Pathways should be clear of small toys, throw rugs, electrical cords and other items that could cause children to trip or fall.
This article was provided by Underwriters Laboratories. Since 1894, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has been testing, verifying, validating and inspecting thousands of everyday things to keep your family safe and give you peace of mind. They are an independent product safety certification organization. That means UL has no affiliation with a brand, product or company – their only concern is your safety.