As the holidays are upon us, many of you have already decked your halls; some of us haven’t gotten that far yet. So, it’s a good time to review safety tips – some common sense and some not so much – that will keep your home and family safer this season.
The National Fire Protection Association has released stats that indicate an average of 160 structure fires happen this time of year due to faulty lighting and electrical problems related to Christmas decorations. Home candle fires still result in 12% of deaths and losses.
Here are some safety tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International:
- Use LED lights; they’re made with epoxy, not glass, and are cool to the touch. They’re also more energy efficient.
- Turn off all indoor and outdoor lighting before leaving your house or going to bed.
- In spite of what may look cool on TV, never drape anything over a bulb or lampshade.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, and extinguish burning candles before leaving your house.
- Use lighting as it is intended – don’t string indoor lights around your chimney.
- Send in warranty cards so that the manufacturer can notify you in case of a recall. (Does anyone really do this? But it sounds like a good idea.)
If you haven’t already purchased your tree, here are some valuable tips on finding the right one that will last through the holidays:
- Look for a tree that is well-hydrated with vibrant green needles that don’t pluck off easily.
- Make sure the trunk is sticky with sap. (That’s the really yucky part; however it makes for a healthy tree.)
- Use a tree stand that will allow you to give your tree plenty of water.
- If you choose an artificial tree – buy one that is tested and labeled as fire-resistant.
If you’re hiring a company to hang your decorations, make sure that they are licensed and insured.
Deck the halls and enjoy a happy and safe holiday season with your family and friends.