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What We’re Watching: 12/13/13

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At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Practicing Fire Safety this Holiday Season

The holidays are here – a time to be with family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when we see an increased chance of home fires.

Following a few simple fire safety tips can help ensure that you and your loved ones have a fire-safe holiday season:

  • Holiday Lighting -
    • Inspect you holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
    • Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord directly into the outlet.
  • Candle Care -
    • Consider using battery-operated, flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
    • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders, and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
    • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
  • Christmas Tree -
    • If you use a fresh tree, make sure you water it regularly.  Check the water each day.  Then, make sure you don’t dry the tree out prematurely by placing it too close to a heat source like a vent or fireplace.
    • Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
    • Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry.
    • Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and no more than 50 bulbs for screw-in light sets.

Practice these few tips to ensure you have a festive, bright and safe holiday season!

Video in Focus

Volunteers from MTV University and United Way are working together to help communities in the recovery process following Hurricane Sandy. In this video, members from the partnering organizations remove damaged materials and debris for homeowners in need.

Illinois Tornado Recovery

Here are a few photos from the ongoing recovery efforts in Illinois. Individuals impacted by the November 17 tornado are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling (800)-621-3362 or (TTY) (800) 462-7585 or online at  Visit the Illinois disaster page for more information and updates.

repair to damaged home
Diamond, Ill., Dec. 10, 2013 -- Crews work to repair a wall damaged by the recent tornado that impacted the area on November 17, 2013. Residents impacted by the tornado are encouraged to call and register with FEMA by calling (800) 621-3362, (TTY) (800) 462-7585, or by registering online at Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

tornado debris and homes
Washington, Ill., December 7, 2013 -- Debris from the Nov. 17, 2013 tornado remain in neighborhoods throughout the city. Residents impacted by the tornado are encouraged to register for disaster assistance with FEMA. Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

video interview
Brookport, Ill., Dec. 12, 2013 -- FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Donald Keldsen, right, speaks to media at a Disaster Recovery Center set up at the library. Residents impacted by the Nov. 17, 2013 tornado are encouraged to apply to FEMA for assistance by calling (800) 621-3362, (TTY) (800) 462-7585, or by applying online at Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

Have a safe weekend!


Last Updated: 
12/13/2013 - 17:17

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