McDONOUGH — ‘Tis the season. For many this means pulling down the holiday decorations, untangling the lights and putting up the Christmas tree.
The American Red Cross and the Consumer Protection Safety Commission are offering a number of tips to decorate your home safely.
♦ Check all holiday light cords to ensure they aren’t frayed or broken. Do not string more than three strands of lights together per extension cord
♦ Turn off all Christmas lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
♦ If using an artificial tree, look for a fire-resistant label. Keep the tree away from fireplaces, radiators or other heat sources.
♦ Never use electric lights on metallic trees. The metal tree can become charged with electricity and touching a branch could result in electrocution.
♦ If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and keep it watered. To test if the tree is fresh, bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.
♦ Don’t light the fireplace if hanging stockings or other decor on the mantel.
♦ Check the labels of older decorations. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation and avoid breathing in artificial snow.
♦ If using candles, consider using the battery-operated kind. If using real candles, keep them away from anything that could burn and place them out of reach of pets and children. Never leave them burning unattended.
♦ In homes with small children avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable and avoid decor that resemble candy or food as a child could attempt to eat it.
♦ Before hanging, check to ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your house or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
♦ Only plug outdoor lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter-protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
♦ If using a ladder, make sure to have good, stable placement and wear shoes that allow for good traction.
McDONOUGH — O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches …
Keeping those branches healthy through the holidays requires care and watering of your live Christmas tree. The Georgia Christmas Tree Association has some advice on selecting a size and keeping the tree nice and green through the holiday season.
Choosing a location
First, decide where you want to put your tree. What kind of space do you have; for example what’s your ceiling height?
Next, ensure electrical outlets should be nearby and place the tree away from heat sources such as wood stoves, fire places, heating vents and sunlight.
Selecting a tree
Be sure the tree you pick will fit in your home. Trees usually look a lot smaller in the field or on a lot.
If you’re cutting down your own tree, separate the tree from the stump without splitting the trunk or peeling the bark.
Once you’ve got your tree at home, place it in a stand with a large water bowl. The GACTA recommends a 10-quart bowl at the minimum. A typical tree will drink a gallon or more of water a day, especially within the first week. Don’t let the water level get below the bottom of the trunk.
If your tree has been cut for over an hour and not in water, trim about half an inch off the bottom before placing in a stand. Doing so will allow the tree to take up water better. Be sure to keep the tree watered at all times.
Local tree farms
Sugarlan♦ d Christmas Trees
3933 Ga. Highway 155 N in Stockbridge
♦ Yule Forest Christmas Tree Farm
3565 Ga. Highway 155 N in Stockbridge
♦ Worthington Tree Farm
145 Twin Oaks Drive in Hampton
♦ Homestead Christmas Tree Farm
3850 Ga. Highway 81 in Hampton
♦ Minter’s Farm
283 Hills Bridge Road in Fayetteville
♦ Wee Three Trees
138 Arnold Road in Fayetteville
♦ Orchard Hill Tree Farm
2414 Macon Road in Griffin
♦ Berry’s Tree Farm
70 Mt. Tabor Road in Covington
♦ Brooks Christmas Tree Farm
352 Mask Road in Brooks
For more information, visit www.gacta.com.
McDONOUGH — Henry County Government’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program 2 is once again accepting applications for those in Henry County in need of rental or utility assistance.
The Henry County COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance for rent, utilities (gas, water/sewer, electricity, internet) and security deposits. This program seeks to bridge the gap for those who have lost income due to COVID-19.
Both landlords and tenants are eligible to apply. In order to be eligible for assistance, tenants must reside within Henry County, meet household income guidelines, and provide evidence that one or more individuals in the household have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a loss of income as a result of COVID-19.
During the first phase of ERAP, Henry County Henry County administered $6.35 million in Cares Funding to Henry County residents. The funds were utilized to assist residents in need who were adversely affected by COVID 19 and in danger of either eviction or utility shutoffs.
Phase two of ERAP has funding available in the amount of just over $4.7 million and residents are now able to receive 18 months of assistance if they qualify. The program will be open until all funds have been exhausted.
The hours of contact are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.
McDONOUGH — Henry County Commission Chair Carlotta Harrell issued an Order Rescinding the Declaration of State of Local Emergency that was originally put in place on Aug. 3 and clarified on Aug. 17, and then extended on Sept. 21, 2021. The latest action came during the Nov. 16 Commission meeting.
Masks are longer required to be worn in county facilities for those who are fully vaccinated and the lifted restrictions also relax the social distancing requirements, although the county still encourages social distancing where feasible. The limits on the number of people gathering for county events and on county property has also been lifted.
Masks however are optional for those who prefer to wear them and temperature screenings are still required for those entering county facilities. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear face coverings while in county facilities.
Please note that face coverings are required while traveling on any public transportation – such as Henry County Transit or Senior Services buses and vans, per the federal mandate, which runs through Jan. 18, 2022.
The original Declaration of State of Local Emergency, and the clarification and extension came as a result of rising positive COVID-19 cases in the county. As those numbers have stabilized, the latest action of rescinding the declaration was taken.
To read the most recent declaration, visit www.co.henry.ga.us.