The holidays are rapidly approaching and for many, that means pulling out extravagant decorations and festively decking out the interiors and exteriors of their homes. Before you begin decorating however, it is important to know some holiday safety tips to ensure it’s a joyous time of year with no unforeseen complication. With all that is involved with the holidays, the season is known to have its fair share of danger which can come in a number of forms. Just by taking a few extra precautions, you will be able to rest easier knowing that you have taken steps to protect your family from potential hazards.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that between 2003 and 2008, 260 home fires began with Christmas trees in the United States. In 19% of these fires, a heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, or other heating device was located too close to the tree, causing the tree to catch fire.
One important holiday safety tip is to place your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source. Only use lights approved by an independent testing laboratory. Never use candles to decorate a Christmas tree.
When you leave home or go to bed, make sure to turn off Christmas tree lights. If you are using an artificial tree, check the manufacturer’s recommendation before adding lights. Lights should not be placed on trees made of metal as a faulty connection can charge the tree and a person touching the tree can be electrocuted. If you use a real tree, water the tree daily to prevent drying, as dry trees will burn more quickly than moist trees.
Christmas Light Safety Tips
Before hanging Christmas lights, test them to be sure all bulbs work and there are no loose connections or frayed wires. If you find any damaged lights, be sure to throw them out. As you go about setting lights up, be sure to leave them unlit until after they have been hung, adjusted, and connected into their final position. When it comes to adorning lights outside of your home, only use lights approved for outdoor use to decorate.
There should be manufacturer recommendations included regarding the number of strings of lights that can be connected so consult those and do not plug too many lights into one socket or surge protector. For an added level of protection, one holiday safety tip to consider is the purchase of timers for your lights. These devices will automatically turn your decorations off at a set time each night which will keep your electric bill down during the holiday season.
Fire Safety Risks
Because a number of winter holidays make use of candles and light, one of the most important holiday safety tip is to only choose decorations that are flame resistant. This is especially crucial for those that are situated on or near a tree. If candles are to be used, they should be placed in well-ventilated areas and should not be around any combustible materials.
Use non-flammable candle holders and place them in a secure location to avoid the chance of knocking them over. If at all possible, utilizing battery operated candles will help to undermine the typical dangers of traditional candles. In the event you are planning on purchasing an artificial tree, you can further protect yourself by purchasing one with a “flame resistant” label to minimize your risk of fire. Finally, be sure to keep wrapping papers, bags and ribbons away from fireplaces. Never burn wrapping paper in a fireplace as a flash fire can occur.
Holiday Decorating With Children
For those with young children, the holidays can present a particular challenge as decorations can pose a number of unconsidered dangers. Ornaments, for example, can be quite fragile and come equipped with sharp hooks. As you decorate your tree, be sure to hang ornaments high and rely on twist-ties or clips to secure them.
Also make sure you’re putting lights and other miniature pieces out of reach as well because they may be mistakenly eaten by children. With the matches used to light candles, make sure you secure them as soon as you have finished using them. The same goes for lighters as sometimes they can be confused for toys. A watchful eye should be kept during gift exchanges as much like with holiday decorations, small parts and pieces can come included.
Holiday Cooking Safety Tips
Whether it’s a traditional celebration or one that has its own unique nuances, no holiday season is complete without delicious food. The only problem is that with all that it entails, cooking around the holidays has to be done cautiously. Above all else, monitor your dishes as they cook to allow for a decisive response if such action needs to be taken. In the event you are boiling water or have hot liquids in pans on the stovetop, turn the handles inward so they are not hanging over the side of the oven. It presents a hazard for those moving about the space who could spill the contents and for children who are right at the level of the liquids.
When using burners, be sure to clear away clutter or debris from around them and cut them off following their use. This will immediately eliminate any risk they may pose. And as a simple tip, be sure to thoroughly clean your cooking surfaces and your hands before handling any ingredients because no one wants food poisoning during their holiday.
Stay Safe This Holiday Season
The holidays are meant to be a time of togetherness and joy, but far too often that can be overshadowed by some of the dangers the season presents. By following these simple tips, you can rest more comfortably knowing you have taken steps to protect your family and loved ones. The added benefit of a number of these tips is that not only can they help you to be more safe this holiday season, they can also save you time and money. Learn more about holiday safety tips through your retail electric provider.