INGHAM COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
REMINDS YOU TO BE SAFE DURING THE HOLIDAYS
One of the best places to be on a cold snowy night is home
with a warm blanket and a fire in the fireplace. Sheriff Wrigglesworth offers
the following safety tips to keep you and your family safe when using a
fireplace or wood burning stove to keep warm:
annual chimney check. Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned
as necessary, by a qualified professional chimney service technician. This
reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote
buildup or obstructions in the chimneys.
clear. Keep tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the
top of the chimney.
a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney.
the right fuel. For burning firewood in wood stoves or
fireplaces, choose well-seasoned wood that has been split for a minimum of six
months - one year and stored in a covered and elevated location. Never burn
Christmas trees or treated wood in your fireplace or wood stove.
hearth area clear. Combustible material too close to the
fireplace, or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire. Keep furniture at least
36” away from the hearth.
fireplace screen. Use metal mesh or a screen in front of the
fireplace to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in the carpet
smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the
house and check batteries in the spring and fall. When you change your clocks
for Daylight Savings Time, remember to check your batteries.
leave a fire unattended!
The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office encourages everyone to
have a safe and joyous holiday season. During the busy hustle and bustle of the
holiday season, important safety measures are too often forgotten. Sheriff Wriggelsworth has some safety
reminders to help ensure a safe and happy holiday season for everyone.
- Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or
with any potentially flammable item.
- Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to
eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach
problems. Plants to watch out for include: mistletoe, holly berries,
Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis. Keep all of these plants out of children's
- When displaying a real tree, put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding
stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out
quickly. Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat
sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
- If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled
as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems
should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
- Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors).
Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed
or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light
- Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord.
Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping
hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across
- Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or
leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.
- When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step
stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks or
- If you have to use a step ladder near a doorway, lock or barricade
the door and post signs so no one will open it and knock you off the
- A straight or extension ladder should be placed one foot away from
the surface it rests against for every four feet of ladder height.
- When you climb, always face the ladder and grip the rungs to climb –
not the side rails. Always keep three points of contact on the ladder
whether two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
Hosting and Food
- When preparing a holiday meal for friends and family, be sure to
wash hands, utensils, sink, and anything else that has come in contact
with raw poultry.
- Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw it in the refrigerator,
in cold water or in the microwave.
- Use a clean food thermometer to cook foods to a safe internal
temperature before serving.
- When reheating leftovers, bring the temperature up to at least 165°F
to eliminate any bacterial growth.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in covered shallow containers (less
than two inches deep) within two hours after cooking. Date the leftovers
for future use.
- Being a smart party host or guest should include being sensible
about alcoholic drinks. More than half of all traffic fatalities are
alcohol-related. Use designated drivers, people who do not drink, to drive
other guests home after a holiday party.
- The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year.
You can’t avoid stress completely, but you can give yourself some relief.
Allow enough time to shop for gifts and meal items rather than hurry
through stores and parking lots. Only plan to do a reasonable number of