It’s easy to get caught up in all the decorating and festivities of the season and forget some very basic safety precautions that can keep your holiday festivities from turning into a holiday disaster. Below are a few safety reminders.
- When putting up your outdoor lights, make sure and use cords that are designed for outdoor use. Indoor lights are not protected from weather damage.
- Make sure your cords and strings of lights, whether indoor or out, do not have any cracks or exposed wires which could spark a fire.
- Never leave your tree lights on while you’re not home.
- If you have a real tree, be diligent about keeping the stand filled with water to minimize the branches from drying out creating a fire hazard.
- If you have small children or pets, take time to secure your tree so that it can’t be tipped over onto either.
- Also, to avoid cuts from broken ornaments to tiny fingers or paws, place only non-breakable ornaments on the bottom 1/3-1/2 of the tree.
- Cats do have a tendency to climb up the middle of the tree and onto the branches so be especially careful regarding the last two tips as they can suffer extreme harm if the tree falls with them inside or if they jump down onto a broken ornament.
- Enjoy opening presents by the warmth of your fireplace? Great! Just don’t throw your wrapping paper into the fire as the ink may become a toxic fume.
- Another fireplace tip: Though it crackles and smells great, burning evergreen branches can be very dangerous as the flames can quickly get out of control causing burns or throw ashes out onto the floor or carpet causing a fire.
- Another often forgotten hazard is the danger of candles burning for long periods of time or even at all, again if there are small children, pets or your drunk Uncle Bob accidentally knocking them over. A great alternative are LED candles that now flicker as realistically as real candles and can even be purchased to emit holiday aromas. If you forget to “blow those out” the worse thing that happens is you need to buy more batteries!
Simply put, be smart, be diligent, be aware, be safe and Enjoy a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!