Holiday safety begins at home, and you can keep yourself and your family safe by avoiding hazards while decorating your living space. Danger may be lurking in more ways than you realize, and learning how to identify and prevent potential problems as you add more festive cheer to your abode can keep you and your littles out of harm’s way.
Here are four safety tips to follow for family holiday decorating.
Prevent Tree Dehydration
If you celebrate Christmas and have decided to put up a real tree in your home instead of an artificial one, you’ll want to take precautions to prevent it from drying out and creating a fire hazard. It’s important to check your tree’s water level daily and add more water if needed.
Inspecting the needles on the tree to ensure that they’re still green and haven’t turned brown is another way to gauge hydration. Your tree should also be kept away from heat sources that may dry it out faster. If you have a pet, keep in mind that you may need to check the water level more frequently as pets tend to drink the tree’s water.
Avoid Electrical Shortages
Christmas lights and other electronic holiday decorations can experience shortages that increase your home’s fire risk. The wires for your lights should be checked for any frays or cracks before installing them.
Another wise tip is only to purchase lights marked with a “UL” on the tag. You should be aware that a red “UL” means that the views are safe for both indoor and outdoor use, while a green “UL” means that they can only be used safely indoors.
Hiring an electrical contractor to inspect your home’s wiring before you put up any electrical holiday decorations can also help you avoid danger. Always keep cords out of reach of babies and toddlers.
Beware of Lead
Lead can be found in tinsel, artificial icicles, and other decorations. Choosing products made of plastic or other non-lead materials can keep everyone safe. Bulb sockets and wire coating found on Christmas lights may also contain lead, so it’s especially important to keep them out of reach of young children.
You should wash your hands thoroughly after handling any coated wiring that’s known to contain lead.
Hang Lights with Caution
Falls and other serious accidents can occur when hanging Christmas lights from outside your home and other areas around your property. You can minimize your risks by taking the right precautions. When standing on a ladder to hang lights, always have someone with you who can stabilize the ladder and help you if you sustain an injury. The ladder should also be on firm ground and capable of supporting your weight.
When hanging lights inside your home, avoid installing them near space heaters, fireplaces, candles, or other places where fires could start easily.
Being smart when putting up your decorations can help make the upcoming holidays an accident-free season. Staying out of harm’s way will allow you and your family to enjoy the season to its fullest.
Anica Oaks is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her time outside with her dogs. Anica recommends finding an electrical contractor to improve electrical safety in your home. Keep up with her on Twitter @anicaoaks
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