The holidays call for lights, music and decorations. Along with these traditions comes the need to ensure that you and your family remain as safe as possible. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, decorations account for one in four holiday fires. To ensure you and your family remain safe this winter, here are some safety tips:
- If you plan on getting a live tree, make sure it is fresh and healthy upon purchase. Fresher trees stay green longer and are less dry, making them less of a fire hazard.
- Water your live tree daily to prevent it from drying out.
- If purchasing an artificial tree, be sure that the tree says “fire-resistant” on the tag.
- Inspect your electric decorations before using them. Cracked sockets, bare wires or loose connections can cause shock or fire.
- Keep decorations at least three feet away from any heat sources like space heaters.
- Always turn off your decorations—both indoor and outdoor—before going to bed.
- Keep children away from holiday lights, electrical decorations and extension cords. Doing so will prevent electric shock and potential burn injuries.
- Use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles to minimize the risk of fire.
- Consider purchasing LED lights in place of traditional incandescent lights. LED lights tend to run cooler and use less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Avoid plugging too many holiday lights into a single outlet as this can cause the outlet to overheat, resulting in a fire.
- Make sure cords are not pinched by doors, windows or heavy furniture. This could cause damage to the cord’s insulation.
- Unplug decorations by using the designated gripping area. Pulling on the cord in other areas could damage the wire and result in a fire or shock hazard.
- When taking down holiday lights, take a look at the wiring. If the cords are cracked, frayed or appear to have wire damage, be sure to discard them.
- To safely discard your live Christmas tree, find a local tree recycling program.
- Store all decorations in designated ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’ containers.
Holiday safety is a priority for all families. Taking the right precautions can help minimize the potential risks associated with the holiday season. Following the basic tips outlined above can help you and your family remain safe. Contact us for more safety tips or to set up a safety inspection today.