Written by Natalie Horn, volunteer contributor
If you watched the T.V. show “Friends,” then you may remember “The One with the Candy Hearts,” in which Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe start a boyfriend bonfire in their apartment on Valentine’s Day. The result of their bitter cleansing ritual is a call to the New York Fire Department, where they are lectured on fire safety by three handsome, albeit not amused, firemen.
Some Valentine’s Day disasters, like a bad date, are unavoidable; however, some can be avoided with the proper preventative measures. Take time to stop and smell the roses this holiday, but follow these quick safety tips to ensure that your night doesn’t end up in flames.
Candles can create a romantic ambiance in any room but if you plan to use them, make sure they stay within eyesight. Never leave candles unattended, and place them on heat-resistant surfaces away from walls and any flammable materials. Make sure they are properly and fully extinguished when you are done using them!
Getting all dolled-up for a hot date? Before you leave, turn off and unplug your curling iron or any electrical hair appliances you use.
If you plan on curling up by the fire, use a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit, keep the area around the fireplace clear from any decorations and flammable materials. Take a lesson from the girls on “Friends” and never burn garbage, newspapers, charcoal, or plastic in a fireplace (or trashcan). For outdoor fires, keep your pit at least 10 feet away from any structures. Always keep an extinguisher nearby any flame in case things get out of control.
Who’s Watching the Kids?
If you’ve hired a babysitter for the night, be sure they are CPR certified and comfortable responding in emergency situations. The American Red Cross offers courses in babysitter’s training designed for 11-15-year-olds and First Aid/CRP/AED classes for everyone.
Whatever your plans are this Valentine’s Day, remember these important safety tips. Nothing ruins a romantic evening quite like having to call 9-1-1. For more information on health and safety tips, or to enroll in a First Aid course, visit www.redcross.org