Holiday decorations should help make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year, not the most dangerous. Unfortunately, many adornments can pose hazards, waste electricity, and make homes uncomfortably warm. This year, for maximum cheer and minimum fear, try heeding the tips below.
Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas trees are beautiful, but they can lead to trouble. Old-fashioned tree bulbs generate heat. And when one of those bulbs presses against the dried needles of a real tree or flammable artificial needles, a fire could start.
If you opt for a live tree, you can avoid fires by choosing a healthy variety with green needles that stay in place when you touch them. Also, you should water a real tree every day to ensure that it will be healthy during the holiday season.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lights don’t cause fires, and they utilize about 70 percent less electricity than their traditional counterparts. You can also set your tree lights on timers. That way, you won’t waste energy if you ever forget to turn them off.
Cords, Strands, and Candles
Perhaps the greatest threat during the holidays comes from extension cords. In many instances, people use the same cords every year, and they’re often worn out or insufficiently insulated. To prevent fires, make sure your extension cords are in good shape and rated for the way you plan to use them.
Likewise, before hanging any light strands, examine them carefully for fraying and cracks, and replace any that are broken. When safety’s your main concern, it’s probably best to avoid candles altogether. Each year, they start fires that kill about 150 people. If you insist on candles, place them on surfaces that resist heat to control the temperature.
Miscellaneous Holiday Decorations
Keep your mistletoe, garlands, wreaths, and other decorative objects a few feet from fires, space heaters, radiators, and anything else that gives off heat.
Furthermore, go easy on your dancing Santa figurines, model train sets, and other electrical decorations to avoid overloading your outlets. If any of those items feel hot to the touch, make them part of Christmas past by throwing them away.
When it comes to decorating, common sense is as important as holiday spirit. Always shop for items that are child-proof, fire-resistant and verified for safety by a reputable lab. That way, your family can enjoy a danger-free and festive home that won’t get too hot.