Most homeowners or renters look forward to showing off their holiday décor this winter, and we love to look at it as much as you love to show it off! However, did you know many house fires and electrical dilemmas occur around this time of year, along with physical injuries? To prevent these possible predicaments, here are some quick and easy safety precautions to follow when setting up your holiday décor.
To prevent physical injuries:
• Set your tree in a stand that is sized and weighed correctly for the trunk of your tree. In other words, if you chop a larger tree than usual this year, don’t expect your old stand to hold this tree up too. This will prevent falling trees.
• Try to hide your outdoor wires behind bushes, away from the walkway. Inside, have the wires line the outer walls. This will prevent tripping injuries.
• When hanging lights on the roof, have someone hold the ladder in place. Wear shoes that will grip the roof. Hang lights in the daylight. This will prevent falling injuries.
• When lighting candles, use a long lighter or match. Only allow adults to light candles, or children under strict supervision. This will prevent burns.
• Opt for tinsel, garland and other non-metal decorations that are not hazardous if consumed by a child or pet. This will prevent poisoning and choking.
• Wear gloves when dealing with lights, cords and plugs, and work only in conditions that are not overly dry or moist. This will prevent electrocutions.
• Hang heavy or breakable ornaments low on the tree. That way, if they fall from the tree, it will help prevent scattered glass. Also, keep all breakable decorations away from a child’s grasp.
• When picking up heavy boxes filled with holiday décor, bend your knees and use your whole-body strength to lift. This will help prevent back injuries.
To prevent electrical problems:
• Cover outdoor electrical outlets with duct tape. This will prevent rain and snow moisture to drip into the outlets. Also, make sure the extension cords and lights you use outside are made for outdoor use.
• Use an electrical strip to connect multiple plugs together. Do not attempt to connect one electrical strip with another strip, or to use more wires than there are plugs. This will prevent electrical fires.
• Turn all the lit decorations off at night. This will prevent possible fires. You might also want to consider unplugging decorations too, which will save energy.
• Replace damaged cords and lights. When replacing a burnt bulb, make sure to replace it with a bulb of the same wattage. This will prevent electrical problems.
• When purchasing an artificial tree, make sure the label reads “fire resistant.” With real trees, make sure it’s fresh rather than dry and brittle. This will prevent fires.
• Keep lit candles in clear view, burn out when leaving the house or going to sleep, and keep away from flammable objects, such as the tree. This will prevent fires.
• Do not throw wrapping paper into a fireplace. The paper burns fast and intensely, which could cause a sudden burst of flames. This will prevent fires and burns.
• Clean out your gutters before hanging lights on the roof, and opt for smaller bulbs instead of larger ones. These steps will prevent hot lights from burning dried leaves and starting fires.