It’s the holidays once again!
For many of us, this time of year means some things in our living rooms that wouldn’t normally be there: Live trees, strands of festive lights, fires in our fireplaces.
Of course, with these unique seasonal items come some unique seasonal risks.
To help keep your family safe, check out these simple holiday safety tips:
Celebrate Safely With a Live Tree
- Make sure to select the right tree. Watch for healthy green needles that don’t shed easily, and beware of brittle branches.
- Watering a live tree daily is a must. Consider keeping the tree indoors for only 2-3 weeks.
- If the tree stops taking water or if needles begin to drop at the slightest touch, it’s time to remove the tree immediately.
Light the Holidays Carefully
- Be sure to test every strand of lights before hanging.
- Check strands for fraying wire and for any bulbs that are damaged or missing.
- Before hanging a strand, touch the bulbs and wire to be sure they’re not heating up. If they are, it’s best to get rid of that particular strand.
Watch & Tend to Open Flames
- Most people will know to not use actual candles on a live tree. Decorate using only ornaments and electric lights.
- If you decorate elsewhere with candles, be sure to keep them clear of curtains and other combustibles, and be sure pets can’t knock them over accidentally.
- If you’re going to be out of a room for an extended period, put the candles out.
- Remember to monitor and trim wicks, and use some kind of container for the melted wax.
- If you have children, keep candles, matches and lighters out of reach.
Maintain Your Fireplace & Smoke Detectors
- It is vital to have your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned on a regular basis. The holidays may make a great annual time to do this.
- Things like wrapping paper and dead tree needles can be unpredictable in a fireplace and should just be discarded, not burned.
- To start and fuel your fire, use hard firewood. Aged firewood is even more consistent.
- Test every smoke and carbon monoxide detector in your home regularly, and be sure to change the batteries regularly as well.
Making the Complex Simple
The holidays are a joyous time, but not without their unique risks.
With these simple holiday safety tips, you can ensure the safety of your home, possessions and loved ones.