Holiday Safety Tips and Fire Prevention

During the holidays, it is best to brush up on Xmas home security. With the influx of items into your home, the potential of additional hazards do exist, especially regarding fire.

If you decide to put a natural Christmas tree in your home, make sure it is sheltered from stoves, heaters and fireplaces. Cut a half inch to an inch off the bottom of the tree before placing it in the stand. That way it will stay fresh as long as it is watered each day.

Although using lit candles used to be a common way to decorate a tree, it is a real fire hazard so refrain from using them on the tree.

When decorating a Christmas tree, use only UL (Underwriting Laboratory) tested and approved lights. This denotes that the lights have been properly tested and are fully compliant with safety regulations. Do not place paper ornaments on the lights. Link no more than three light strands together.

Be careful with the placement of Christmas poinsettias and mistletoe. They can be poisonous if ingested by pets and small children so put them out of reach.

If you want to do some outdoor Christmas decorating, get assistance if you have to go on the roof or hang lights in high places. Check each strand of lights for any exposed wires and to make sure they work before placing them outside. Use plastic or rubber clips to prevent the wires from making contact with metal objects. Weather proof connections by wrapping plugs with all weather tape.

Don’t underestimate the power of the wind. It’s best not to try and affix statues on any roofs. Make sure any large holiday decorations are strongly secured no matter where you set them outside.

Following are some other Xmas home security tips:

  • Do not overload electrical circuits. Connect strands of light to an extension or power cord prior to plugging the cord into the outlet. The wires should never feel warm to the touch.
  • All decorations should be nonflammable or flame retardant. They should also be placed away from heating vents.
  • Refrain from throwing Christmas wrapping paper into a fireplace. The composition of the paper is such that it’s likely to create a large blaze, throw off sparks or even cause a chimney fire.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Do not leave an infant unattended near a decorated Christmas tree. Place any breakable ornaments out of a baby’s reach. Make sure the Christmas tree is solidly anchored so that it will not tip over.
  • When you are not home, keep all doors and windows locked and close your blinds.
  • If you have company, clean up immediately after a party. A child could rise early and consume left over alcohol or spoiled food.
  • Select toys that are suited for the age and interest level of the child. Read any instructions prior to allowing the child to play with a toy. Toys that are too advanced may pose a safety hazard for a younger child.

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