Now that Thanksgiving has passed, a lot of us start our Christmas decorating. It is a season filled with beautiful decorations; such as Christmas trees, lights, inflatables, and wreaths. Though these decorations help create the Christmas spirit in and around your home, they could also pose a safety hazard if not used properly. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe this holiday season.
Check your Decorations
Before you start Christmas decorating, it is important to check your light stands and bulbs. To inspect lights for any damage, check the lights to make sure the cords are not damaged and there are no bulbs missing or broken. If you use decorations that have been passed down to you or have been using for years, you may want to read the labels to see what they are made of. Did you know that some older tinsel used to be made with lead?
Make a Plan
It would also be a clever idea to visualize and plan the layout of your decorations. This will allow you to eliminate the chance of someone tripping over decorations and cords by having them placed in low traffic areas.
Picking a Christmas Tree
If you are planning to have a real tree, you want to pick a fresh tree and keep it watered. If you are not sure how to tell if the tree you like is fresh, visit Better Homes & Gardens for more information on how to check for freshness. If you are getting an artificial tree, you should invest in one that is flame resistant. You want to place your tree away from any type of heat sources (fireplace, baseboard heaters, etc.) regardless of whether you choose a real or artificial tree.
Indoor Christmas Decorating
As you begin your Christmas decorating inside, keep lights away from your furniture, curtains, and other fabric. You also want to avoid putting stress on cords, so do not twist or crush them. If you prefer to use real candles over battery operated ones, you want to place them on a sturdy service and away from anything flammable.
A popular place to hang stockings tends to be off the fireplace mantle, but this is a fire hazard. It would be a good idea to find a different area for hanging your stockings. However, if you still prefer to use your fireplace mantle, you may want to keep your fireplace off. Did you know that even after you put out your fire, hot embers from it can still travel to nearby flammable items, such as stockings? If you have a wood burning fireplace, check out this pro blog for more safety tips.
Outdoor Christmas Decorating
As you begin your outdoor Christmas decorating, the outlets you use should be protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) which help to prevent electrical shock. If using a ladder, take extra precautions to make sure it is secure on the ground, and that you have proper shoes before you start climbing it. All ladders and decorations should be clear of overhead power lines.
Using nails to hang your lights and decorations could damage them or your house, so you could invest in clips to help prevent the damage. Whether you are decorating the outside of your house or the trees around it, you will need to make sure all lights and decorations are securely fastened down.
If you leave your house or go to bed, remember to make sure all decorations are turned off and all candles are blown out. All of us at Ellingwood Pro hopes these tips will help you feel safe as you perform your Christmas decorating this year.