Balance fun and safety with these helpful tips
While holiday decorating can be a fun way to bond with family and friends, your festive decorations can pose more dangerous risks than you’d think. Each year, more than 13,000 people are injured from holiday decorating alone, and unless you practice proper safety, you could be one of them. But don’t fret; just follow these tips to ensure a fun, safe, and memorable holiday decorating process:
Choose the right tree
When looking for Christmas trees, keep in mind that choosing the right tree can go a long way in preventing home fires. Look for trees that are very green, and whose needles do not easily break or disconnect from branches.
The end of the tree’s trunk should be sticky with resin, and if the tree is gently shaken, you shouldn’t see too many needles falling from it. If you decide to use an artificial tree, make sure that it’s fire resistant.
Keep trees away from heat sources
Due to needles and sap, holiday trees are extremely flammable; so it’s extremely important to keep your Evergreen away from heat sources such as fireplaces, candles, and heaters to reduce the risk of a fire in your home. Also, don’t forget to keep a fire extinguisher near the tree in case of emergency—and make sure all your home’s residents know how to use it.
Make sure lights are in good condition
Older, damaged, or low quality holiday lights can easily burn out or overheat, increasing the chance of a home fire. If you’re using last year’s lights, test them and make sure they’re good to go before putting them on trees, walls, fireplaces, or other areas of your home. In fact, the CPSC recently issued new standards for holiday light safety, so you might want to check them out to see if your lights are up to par.
Turn lights off before going to bed
Turning off your tree’s lights before going to bed isn’t only a great way to prevent fires; it also saves a ton of energy. If you think you might forget to turn them off, you can purchase an automatic timer and set it to turn the lights off before your usual bedtime. It’s also a good idea to turn the tree’s lights off before leaving the house for an extended period of time, as you won’t be able to detect and prevent any fires in a home that is unoccupied.
Practice proper fireplace safety
If you have a fireplace in your home or apartment, avoid burning anything other than logs or artificial logs from a high quality brand. Avoid the temptation of burning wrapping paper, decorative pine cones, or tree branches in the fireplace to limit household trash. Wrapping paper can lead to flash fires, and pine cones and uncut branches could explode, causing injury to you and your family and potentially causing other household objects to catch fire.
To make sure you stay safe while increasing your home’s holiday cheer, follow these tips to avoid fires, injuries, and other potential pitfalls this holiday season. To learn more about how Avante Insurance can help protect you and your family, contact us today for a free consultation.