One of the most fun aspects of Christmas is decorating the interior and exterior of your home. From the tree to outdoor lights to festive holiday candles, there are a plethora of Christmas decor items that are beautiful but can have the potential to be dangerous. To ensure that you and your family have a safe holiday season while still enjoying Christmas decor, here are three crucial decorating safety rules for the Christmas season.
Rule 1: Be Aware of Fire Hazards
Some of the most beautiful holiday decorations are the ones that involve real flames. When you’re lighting that beautifully spicy scented Christmas candle, you might not be thinking about the fact that neglected candles are one of the top reasons for house fires. Never leave a candle, lantern or any sort of decoration that involves a real flame unattended. Furthermore, watch out for where candles are placed. Never place them in the vicinity of a tree or anywhere near flammable items like garlands or draped fabrics.
When it comes to trees, you can minimize your risk of a house fire greatly if you choose the right Christmas tree for your home. If you are purchasing an artificial tree, only buy a flame-resistant one. If you are bringing a real tree into your home this year, be sure to keep it watered. A hydrated tree is less likely to catch flame than one that has become dried out.
Rule 2: Be Careful When Erecting Outdoor Decorations
In some neighborhoods, the number one rule of Christmas decorating is “go big or go home.” Many homeowners like to spread the Holiday cheer by erecting elaborate holiday displays outside. However, this can be a dangerous task. Each year, hospitals in this country treat about 13,000 accident cases and many of them include people who have fallen while putting lights up around the perimeter of their roof. Work with a partner to hold your ladder while you put up your holiday lights. This roofing safety guide is useful for people who will be putting up holiday decorations outside this year.
Furthermore, be careful when you are plugging in your lights and display pieces. While outdoor electrical outlets are typically designed to withstand the elements and take in high voltage, dated or faulty wiring in older homes could result in the potential for serious injury. If you are in doubt about the safety of your outdoor outlets, consult an electrician. Furthermore, never run a cord from inside your home to power outdoor decorations. Surge protectors and indoor extension cords are not meant to withstand elements like snow or rain, rendering this a potentially fatal error.
Rule 3: Create a Nightly Checklist
House fires and accidents don’t typically happen when a family is sitting in their living room enjoying their decorations. Rather, they occur when a family is asleep, unaware of the fact that an unattended candle has resulted in a decoration catching fire. One of the easiest ways to avoid an accident is to create a nightly checklist and to go through it each evening before you go to bed.
A nightly checklist should be comprised of steps to check and make sure that all potential hazards in your home have been attended to. Steps should include things such as:
- Ensuring all candles have been extinguished
- Powering down all electrical displays
- Watering your Christmas tree to keep it hydrated
- Ensuring that pets are kept away from glass or breakable items
- Checking to make sure that the fireplace is no longer burning
- Eying power strips and surge protectors to make sure that nothing is overheating
These tips can be modified or added to depending on your decor layout for this holiday season.
A merry Christmas is one that is without accident or injury. If you follow these three crucial rules, your family is sure to have a bright and cheerful holiday season, free of any unfortunate incidents.