Decking the halls each year is a time-honored tradition, but laying the yearly yule log can be more than just a fun activity. Holiday decorations can pose fire hazards and other safety concerns when not thoroughly inspected and placed thoughtfully. Follow these helpful holiday decorating safety tips to keep your household merry and bright throughout the season.
For those that enjoy the scent of fresh fir, remember that a watered tree is a happy one and poses less threat of catching flame. The less watering you do, the more your tree will dry out, which can create a fire hazard with even the smallest spark.
To test your tree, first examine its branches and color. A green tree is a healthy one, and fresh needles that have been watered are difficult to pry from their branches. If you peek under your tree up and see a shower of needles, you need to increase your watering.
When deciding where to place the family Christmas tree, be sure to avoid areas by radiators, fireplaces, and other heat sources that can potentially dry out its needles as well. If curious cats or playful little ones are of concern in your household, consider using thin guy-wires to secure your tree top to the walls and ceiling.
Whether they are indoors or out, it is essential to read all labels to verify that your Christmas lights have been tested for your holiday decoration safety. Examine all strands to make sure they do not have any fraying wires, broken sockets, or loose connections from being stored year after year.
To protect from wind damage, always be sure to secure each strand of Christmas lights safely. When it’s time for bed, turn off all light displays to avoid overheating and starting a blaze overnight. Using faulty lights on a Christmas tree can cause it to become charged with electricity, allowing anyone touching it to be electrocuted. To avoid this, use colored spotlights around or beside the tree, rather than attached to it. Bubble lights should always be kept a safe distance from children, and you may want to skip them altogether—infants and toddlers may be tempted to pull on lights or even try to eat them.
Before electricity, candles were used to bedeck the branches of trees. Now, however, it’s essential to keep any sort of flame away from your evergreen for the safety of your holiday decorations. When trimming the tree, use only non-combustible and flame-resistant materials. Try tinsel, artificial icicles, or plastic materials.
In homes with small children, it’s important to choose decorations that are not sharp or breakable, and to avoid anything that looks like candy. Children can and will eat anything they can find, so be mindful of the little ones during this festive and bustling time. Paper decorations, for example, can be a great way to be crafty while finding a safe way for children to decorate. On Christmas morning, remove all wrapping paper and trimmings from the tree and fireplace areas as soon as possible. Never burn these items or any greenery in the fireplace, as they can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
For more information about getting your home holiday-ready, contact your local team at National Property Inspections. Our inspectors are always here to lend a helping hand.
Do you have experience with holiday disasters? Comment and let us know below!