Holiday Decor Safety Tips
No one wants to spoil the cheer of the holiday season, but Christmas décor in the home can present many safety hazards. A main concern with Christmas decor is fire danger, often brought on by the combination of electrical malfunctions and highly flammable decorations such as trees, garland, candles and strings of lights. Even if you already put up your Christmas tree and lights around and outside your home, it wouldn’t hurt to take a second look.
Here are our top safety tips to help ensure your family has nothing but a merry holiday season.
We all want our homes to smell lovely and feel cozy during the winter months, but open flames can cause a fire in a matter of seconds if they are not supervised. Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor. Set all candles at least one foot away from other household items and never leave one unattended. Also, keep an eye on children running around to ensure that candles are not knocked onto the floor.
Although lights are fun and full of holiday spirit, they are the culprit of many holiday fires. One in three homes experiences a Christmas tree fire caused by electrical problems.
Ensure your lights are safe to use by having your electrical wiring checked before decorating. In addition, check each strand and throw out any damaged lights that may have exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets. Determine the limitations of your outlets and don't plug in more than two cords into a single outlet. Always remember to unplug all interior lights before you go to bed or exit your home. Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle. Lastly, bedtime means lights off! Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
The symbol of Christmas itself also presents one of the most significant fire hazards. The tree is extremely flammable, especially if dried out. It is often placed next to other flammable objects within the home, allowing the fire to spread quickly. To prevent your tree from catching fire, make sure live trees are freshly cut and have green needles. Water your tree daily and watch for any brittle needles. Also, if your tree is close to a floor register vent, you should remove the register and wrap it in tin foil before reinstalling. This should stop the hot air from the furnace from drying out your tree when the heat is on. If you're using a pre-lit artificial tree, make sure the lights are in quality condition. Place trees at least three feet away from the nearest heat source and use a sturdy tree stand to prevent it from falling over. Decorate the tree with your kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top. Also, spraying artificial snow can irritate your lungs if inhaled; follow directions carefully. Pro tip: cut a small section of the trunk off your tree prior to installing it on the tree stand. This helps to keep a tree green longer, as well as making sure the tree absorbs water better.
And remember if a fire or disaster strikes your home or business this holiday season, Brookstone and our experienced team members are here to help.