No matter what you’re celebrating this holiday season, there’s just something special about putting up decorations. The trouble is that you don’t want to get so caught up in the merriment that you put your safety at risk. If you’ve ever seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you know just how hazardous holiday decorating can be to your health!
Before you go decking the halls or adding a superfluous amount of lights to your roof, be sure to check out this handy list (and maybe check it twice) to keep you and your loved ones safe when you’re decorating:
Take Extra Precautions with Live Trees – There’s nothing like that fresh pine smell to put you in the holiday spirit. Even though live trees can make a fun, temporary addition to your home, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Place your tree away from heat sources. Live trees are incredibly flammable, so they should stay far away from heaters and fireplaces. Also, ensure that you water it frequently. A dried out tree can go up in flames much more quickly than a hydrated one, so be sure to check the water level daily.
Check the Label First – Want to just stick to a fake tree? There’s nothing wrong with that! Before you buy one, however, you’ll want to see if the tree is fire resistant. Nearly all trees are, but it’s always wise to check first before making the purchase!
Reach New Heights as a Team – If you’re itching to string up lights outside or hang garland or mistletoe just a little higher this year, don’t go it alone! Have a friend or family member help you. Make sure he or she is supporting the base of the ladder and that it’s on even ground. Also, be sure to keep your cellphone with you, just in case something happens that results you in being stranded on top of the roof with no ladder (or no one) to reach you.
Keep an Eye on Those Candles – The small burning flames can really help us feel cozy and at-home; however, they should be enjoyed under supervision. Keep your candles on a sturdy base so there’s little risk of tipping, and never leave it unattended. Don’t place candles on or near a Christmas tree or other flammable decorations, and remember to extinguish them before you leave home or head off to dream about sugarplum fairies.
Examine the Lights – Before you go through all the trouble of stringing up the lights, go through and check for any frayed wires, broken bulbs, and loose connections. There’s nothing more soul crushing than taking hours out of your day to hang up lights that wind up malfunctioning! Besides, it can be a fire hazard. If you come across any issues, throw the lights out and update them with newer ones.
Be Kind to Your Circuit Breakers – All of us have a breaking point, including our hardworking circuit breakers. Don’t overtax these unsung heroes of the holidays! Adding too many lights or electronic devices to them can pose a greater risk for fire and surges, which is a present that no one wants.
Try Unbreakable Ornaments – If you don’t want to recreate the Home Alone scene where Marv painfully walks through Kevin McCallister’s living room barefoot on breakable ornaments, you might want to avoid using fragile ornaments. If that’s out of the question or if you want to display a few older glass ornaments, make sure that they’re out of the reach of curious children and pets.
Shut It Down for the Night – As tempting as it is to leave your tree and outdoor lights on for all the neighbors to admire at night, it’s smart to turn off everything before you head to bed. This will help you avoid experiencing a short or an electrical issue, which helps decrease your chances of having a house fire.
If the perfect home is still at the top of your wish list, we can help make it a reality without asking old Kris Kringle for help! Just call your friends at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. Get a head-start by viewing our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.