How to Stay Safe While Decking the Halls
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and many of us are busy decking the halls. While candles, holiday lights, and beautifully-ornamented trees make the season merry and bright, they also make it a little more dangerous. Follow these safety tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home this holiday season.
Check All Holiday Lights
Where electricity is involved, it’s important to take precautions to reduce the risk of fire and electrical hazards. If your holiday lights have broken bulbs, fraying wires, or broken sockets, you should replace them.
Read Fire Labels on Fake Trees
You can reduce the risk of fire by opting for a fake Christmas tree, but make sure you read its labels. While a fake tree marked “fire-resistant” is less susceptible to catching fire than a real tree, a fake tree without this specification may not be.
Water Your Real Tree
If you choose a real Christmas tree, make sure you water it frequently to reduce the risk of fire. A well-hydrated tree is less likely to catch fire than a dried-out one. Make a habit of checking the water level each day and replenishing it as needed.
Use Decorations for Their Intended Purpose
When decorating outside, use only lights and extension cords are marked for outdoor use – always check the labels first.
Fasten Lights Securely
Avoid wind damage to your lighting display by fastening lights securely to trees and houses. Make sure, however, that you don’t damage the wires – use insulated staples or hooks rather than nails or thumbtacks.
Use Caution When Using a Ladder
Sometimes, scaling a ladder to finish your elaborate holiday lights display is well worth it – but it’s important to keep safety in mind. Have someone watch you; make sure the base of the ladder is on firm, level ground; stay near the middle of the ladder; and maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times.
Turn Off Lights When Going to Bed or Going Out of Town
It’s important to turn off holiday lights when you’re not around to supervise them. While a fire is unlikely, the consequences of a fire that happens when you’re sleeping or away from home can be detrimental. It’s best just to turn the lights off and enjoy peace of mind.
Keep Children, Pets, and Flammable Objects Away From Candles
While candles add a beautiful and festive touch to your holiday decor, fire presents some dangers. As well as keeping a safe distance from flames, make sure candles are secured on a sturdy base, and never leave a lit candle unattended.
Practice Kitchen Safety
The holiday season brings with it lots of cooking, baking, and entertaining, so make sure you keep the basics in mind each time you’re in the kitchen. Wash your hands frequently, be prepared in case of fire, wear shoes, and keep your knives sharpened.
Monitor Stockings Hung on an Open Fireplace
Make sure your stockings are hung by the chimney with care! Placing objects near an open flame poses an increased risk of fire, so use caution when hanging stockings on an open fireplace.
Lock Doors and Windows
Before you set off on a holiday trip, make sure your home is secure. Keeping doors and windows locked is the simplest way to prevent a break-in while you’re away. If you’ll be out of town for a long time, consider having a friend or neighbor check in on your house.
By following these tips, you’re sure to have a safe and festive holiday season!