We can all agree that the holidays are a fun and exciting time! It’s so great to get together with family and friends and make fun memories. A fun holiday tradition for many families is decorating the house.

The brighter the better! Even though the lights, tree, food, and fires in the fireplace look nice, they can definitely be dangerous.

Below are some holiday safety tips you can use in order to protect yourself and your home from any dangers this year.

Christmas Lights

One of the most common holiday decorations is the lights. This is even a common tradition for some to drive around at night to look at the bright colors and decorations. While the strings of light look nice, they can certainly be dangerous. When you take the bulbs out each year, inspect them first for any that are broken or even frayed wires.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December is the deadliest and most common month for electrical fires. It’s also important to use the correct length of light strings. Extension cords are helpful, but too many can cause issues, especially if you connect them together. Probably one of the most important rules with lights is to ALWAYS unplug them when you leave the house unattended and when you go to bed. This goes for lights outside, as well as those inside. Invest in a smart outlet where you can set the time for it to turn off.

Christmas Trees

It’s always exciting to go an pick out a Christmas tree! The whole process of setting it in the stand, decorating, and putting the star on top is a really great holiday tradition. If you do buy a real tree, make sure you get one that is fresh and green. Having a dry tree is very dangerous and could more easily catch on fire. Cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk of your tree. This will help your tree absorb the water easier. Be sure to always keep your tree watered and free of debris. In addition, never store your tree too close to the fireplace or near candles.

Fireplaces

Another great tip is to always check your home for needed repairs. If you have a gas fireplace cover that is cracked, make sure you only hire a qualified professional to come in a fix it. If you do come across something that is broken, refrain from building a fire until they can repair it.

It’s also important to check and replace the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. This is especially important near areas where you and your family sleep. Having these items fixed and ready to go before the holidays can definitely help you rest easier.

Sharing Holiday Plans

If you are going out of town for the holidays, do not announce it loudly or online. This is the easiest way for burglars to know when you will be gone, which makes you the perfect target for a holiday home break-in.

Never leave your presents out where anyone can see them. Even though it looks pretty, this is an open invitation for someone to break in and steal them. Investing in a doorbell camera can help with thieves who take items off your front porch. Not only will that be helpful in identifying them, but it can also be a deterrent to some people.

Christmas & Holiday Dinners

While cooking your holiday feasts, be sure to never leave anything unattended. Using your oven, stove, or even a deep dryer can seem harmless, but actually can be extremely dangerous. It may help to purchase a timer, or use the one on your phone, to help you remember when something is cooking and when it needs to be checked on.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of cooking fires in homes. If you do need to step away, have someone take your place, or turn the appliances off.

While the holidays are considered to most as the most wonderful time of the year, it is important to take the proper safety precautions, stay diligent, and make smart decisions. Don’t let your holidays be ruined by a tragic event that could have easily been avoided.

 

Sources:

Mortgage Solutions of Georgia. “Home Safety Tips for Holiday Lights” Retrieved from: http://mortgagesolutionsofgeorgia.net/blog/home-safety-tips-for-holiday-lights/. December 12, 2018.

Parents. “12 Tips for Holiday Home Safety” Retrieved from: https://www.parents.com/holiday/christmas/safety/12-tips-for-holiday-home-safety. December 12, 2018.