Throughout November and December, family and friends get together to celebrate the holidays. Decorations like lights, trees, and candles make the season festive. However, there are risks associated with putting up holiday decorations. Here are some safety tips for holiday decorating to follow as you are decking the halls.
Fire Safety Around the Tree
Real trees are at risk of catching fire. Here are some ways that you can prevent that:
Avoid Heat Sources
Keep the tree away from heat sources, candles, and fireplaces. The air from an HVAC vent blowing on the tree can cause it to dry out and become flammable. The heat from a space heater or fireplace nearby may cause a dry tree to catch on fire.
Keep a fire extinguisher near the tree, just in case a fire starts. Make sure it’s easily accessible so that anyone can grab it in the case of a fire. Also, make sure that everyone in the house knows how to use a fire extinguisher. If everyone is scrambling to read the directions on the side of a fire extinguisher as a fire is roaring, it will be too late to put it out.
Even if you don’t have any decorations in your home, you should have working smoke alarms. Since house fires are more likely to happen over the holiday season, it’s even more of a reason to make sure that your smoke alarms are working.
Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating with Candles
Candles pose an obvious fire risk. If you use candles to decorate for the holidays, there are some guidelines that you should follow. For example, never leave candles unattended. Place candles away from flammable objects. Use candle holders that provide a barrier for the flame. Do not go to sleep or leave your home when candles are burning. Battery-powered LED candles are a great alternative.
Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating with String Lights
Just like candles, you shouldn’t leave string lights on when you are asleep or away from home. There is always a chance that an electrical fire could happen, so it is better to be safe and unplug them.
Make sure that all parts of the strand—wires, lights, and sockets—are in good condition. If anything is frayed or broken, it could spark and start a fire. Hang lights in such a way where nothing is going to get damaged or frayed.
Be cautious when hanging string lights along a roofline or in trees. Have another person spotting you whenever you are climbing a ladder. Put the ladder on firm ground and wear slip-proof shoes.
Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating with Poisonous Plants
During the holidays, people decorate their homes with plants such as holly and poinsettias. These plants are toxic when ingested. If you have children and/or pets, you should think twice before you use them in your decorating. If you do choose to decorate your home with these plants, place them out of reach of kids and animals.
Take measures to safely decorate this holiday season. Eliminate fire hazards, decorate carefully, and pay attention to things that can cause injury.