The holidays are a joyful time, and what better way to express that joy than with some festive decorations? Often, safety takes a backseat to holiday cheer, which leave your home vulnerable to fires. Here are some potential dangers to keep in mind, and tips to keep your home and decor beautiful and safe this holiday season.
Drying Out Your Christmas Tree
A dry Christmas tree is basically a pile of kindling, and a sure way to dry out a Christmas tree is to leave the lights on constantly. Make sure your Christmas tree stays watered, and that the lights aren’t left on for so long that the needles begin to dry out. Putting the lights on a timer is an easy way to keep your tree safe this season, and using LED lights, which produce minimal heat, will also help prevent your tree from drying out and catching fire.
This may seem obvious, but many fires are started every holiday season by unattended or forgotten candles. Candles smell great, and add holiday ambiance to your home, but could easily be knocked over or bumped into flammable decor. Though many centerpieces are designed to hold candles, they can be highly flammable, so be sure to keep an eye on these!
Additionally, place lit candles away from drapes or decorations that could catch fire, and make sure to keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
A fire in the fireplace adds warmth and charm to any gathering, but always make sure the fireplace is cleaned every year, the flue and damper are in proper working condition, and that the chimney has been inspected for safety. A fireplace screen can prevent sparks from leaping out onto your carpet, and making sure to keep decorations and other flammable objects far from the flames will ensure a safe and beautiful fire. While stockings may look lovely hanging above your fireplace, they should be removed before a fire is lit and be sure to completely douse the fire before leaving it unattended or falling asleep.
Overloading an Outlet
Outdoor lights certainly add some holiday cheer to your home, but can be dangerous if not properly installed. Overloading a plug with too many strands of holiday lights is a recipe for disaster, and can easily be avoided. Make sure to read the instructions that come with your string lights, and don’t connect more than three together, unless the package explicitly states it’s safe to do so. Using a safety power strip with a breaker on your lights – both indoors and outdoors – is another way to minimize potential fire hazards and keep your house safe this holiday season.
Broken or Frayed Wires and Sockets
Cracked bulbs, broken sockets, and frayed wires in both indoor and outdoor lights are a hazard that is often overlooked. Exposed wires on your tree, or carpet could lead to a disaster, as could something so simple as a broken bulb. Before decorating your home, check all wires, bulbs, and connections for safety and be sure to replace any broken decorations. Be especially careful with older strings of lights, and don’t attempt to repair worn sets – it’s far better to replace them with newer, safer models.
When decorating your fence, the same is true, especially if your yard sports a beautiful wooden fence. Contact us today for an upgraded fence or any questions you may have regarding your fence this holiday season.