Avoid common holiday hazards with these post-Christmas safety tips

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – New gifts, old food and dried out trees are a few things you may have in your house after the Christmas holiday. Those items could also pose a risk to families leading in to the new year.

One of the biggest potential dangers is old Christmas trees. The risk of fires increase as the trees dry out. U.S. fire departments responded to 160 home fires started by trees every year between 2013 and 2017. More than a quarter of those fires happened in January.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas tree fires are rare, but can be very serious.

If you are ready to move the tree out of your home, there are several recycling locations across central Indiana.

In Greenwood and Carmel, trees can be taken out for curbside pickup.

In Fishers, trees can be dropped off at Brooks School Park, Cumberland Park, and Roy G. Holland Memorial Park. Pick up at these locations will continue through February 1.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works and Indy Parks will accept trees from December 26 to January 31. All lights and ornaments must be removed from the tree prior to it being dropped off. Residents can drop off live trees at nine different locations between dawn and dusk.

When it comes to gifts, the National Safety Council reports that more than a quarter of a million kids were hurt by toys in 2017.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends making sure the gifts are age appropriate. Toys with small parts are choking hazards for kids under the age of 3. Toys that have to be plugged in could also pose a danger for kids under the age of 10.

For kids that received scooters or other riding toys, safety equipment including helmets should be worn at all times.

Many of those gifts also come in labeled boxes. National Neighborhood Watch says that could make your home a potential target for thieves.

They recommend breaking down and hiding boxes. When those boxes are taken to the curb, they also recommend putting them in black bags.

NNW also recommends taking inventory of all new items including their make, model and serial number.

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