The holidays are here! Decorating the home is a favorite of many people during the holiday season, some have even turned the tradition into a contest – literally! The dazzle of lights, a variety of yard ornaments, and animated displays all bring a luster enjoyed by kids and adults.
While this fun and festive activity bring much joy to the season it can also bring dangers that many homeowners are unaware of. By tweaking some of your holiday decorating habits you can have all of the feels of the holidays while making home fire safety a priority.
Your Christmas Tree:
Every year Christmas trees are involved in hundreds of home fires, unfortunately with some being fatal. By taking simple precautions you can easily avoid this tragic outcome. Keeping in mind that both natural trees and artificial trees are susceptible to catching on fire, though many artificial trees are available with flame retardant materials, see the safety suggestions below to decide which best fits your lifestyle.
- Always choose natural trees with lots of green, fresh needles.
- Trim the trunk before placing your Christmas tree into the tree stand. This will help to absorb more water, keeping the tree from becoming dry.
- Whether your tree is natural or artificial, always use the proper rated lights to decorate with. Unless you have a pre-lit artificial tree, then you are all set.
- Set your tree up away from any heating units. These units include (but are not limited to) radiators and space heaters. Never place any tree in close proximity to a fireplace.
What are the holidays without lights? For decades neighborhoods have been filled with beautiful displays. Today homeowners actually compete for title of the most elaborate light displays, even tracking down decorations and lights of yesteryear.
- Examine light strands for broken and/or blown bulbs. Replace all necessary bulbs before hanging. If you find issues with the cord itself, frayed wiring and casing or broken sockets, discard immediately and replace.
- Make sure lights and cords, including extension cords are away from fabrics including curtains, carpeting and blankets. Also, do your best to keep them away from children and pets.
- Always turn off lights when not at home or when you go to sleep. Using a timer can help with this during the busy holiday season.
- Use lights and extensions cords as they are recommended. Sets should be identified as either indoor or outdoor lights, the same for extension cords. Use extension cords that are suitable for the electrical capacity they will be running.
Candles are popular at all times of the year. These home fire safety tips also apply to candle usage at all times. The holidays are just a great time for a refresher.
- Keep candles away from flammable items. Added holiday home decor may make space tight and accidentally it ends up near a candle. Be vigilant about what items you are placing around your candles.
- Candles should always sit on a sturdy surface. They should not be easily tipped over or move around. Keeping candles up high and pushed back is best for homes with kids and pets.
- Never leave lit candles unattended and always extinguish them before calling it a night.
Holiday Fire Safety:
Like with the candle tips, these fire safety tips should be observed all year long. It is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that sometimes catches us off our game and a reminder is always good.
- Check your smoke alarms and make sure they are in good working condition. Replace any broken units and have one in each room in your home.
- Have a working fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it. Make it easily accessible or keep multiples on hand for large homes.
- Make sure to have and practice an evacuation plan. Establish a meeting place outside of the home so everyone can regroup when they are safe.
These safety precautions can save your home and your holiday. No one wants to experience tragedy during the holiday season and so many people do. Keep these home fire safety tips in mind as your decorate and spend time with family and friends. Knowing you have done your due-diligence can give your great peace of mind for the safety of your home and your loved one.
Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com