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UL teams up with The Muppets to help make the Holiday Season Safe and Bright


November 9, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

November 9, 2011 – “The holidays are a happy time and we want to help keep them that way. Commit a Minute to Safety shows folks how easy it is to keep their home and family safe,” said Kermit the Frog, who adds an additional holiday safety tip of his own: “Never mix mistletoe and romantic pigs. Trust me on this.”

According to UL (Underwriters Laboratories), 17 children visit the ER due to unintentional injuries every minute in the States—a number that equates to an estimated 9.2 million injuries a year. In response, UL (a global safety organization) is working with stars of Disney’s “The Muppets”—including Kermit the Frog, Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker—on a national campaign: “Commit a Minute to Safety”.

The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness of the importance of holiday safety and make sure parents know valuable holiday safety information, such as watering your tree daily, never leaving a lit candle unattended, turning pot handles inward while cooking, and always looking for the UL Mark.

UL and The Muppets have launched a series of online safety videos and a national public service announcement (PSA) that provide families with vital safety tips to ensure a safe and bright holiday season. The first video focuses on the importance of fire safety and can be viewed at www.safetyathome.com.

“During the holidays, UL reminds families to look for the UL Mark on decorations, lights and electronics,” said John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL. “When you see the UL Mark, you can rest assured that the highest safety standards have been met.”

UL offers the following safety guidelines to show how safety can take as little as one minute and help families identify and prevent hazards that too often result in accidents or tragedy:

Water your tree daily
Dry trees pose a substantial fire risk. After bringing your tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk before putting it in a sturdy stand. Be sure to water it daily. Additionally, know your tree’s expiration date. After about four weeks, the tree will stop absorbing water and dry out, and should be properly discarded or recycled.

Check your lights, check them twice
Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard.

Decorate with a safe eye
Cords should not run under carpets or be tacked up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be a choking hazard for small children or pets and should be kept out of reach.

Be flame aware
Always blow out unattended candles and keep flammable materials “3 ft from the heat” of lit candles or fireplaces.

Indoor or outdoor? Look for the UL mark
Indoor-use-only light strings are marked with UL’s green holographic label. Indoor-or outdoor-use light strings are marked with UL’s red holographic label. Only use light strings and other electrical decorations that bear the UL Mark near the plug, signifying that safety standards have been met.