While the Christmas and Holiday season is a beautiful time of the year to make your home feel cozy and festive, it is also a time of the year to be aware of many hazards that come with the lights and cold weather. Check these items off the list to make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for a dangerous outcome this winter.
Don’t Over-Saturate the Outlets
The desire to make everything light up in your home may encourage you to plug too much into one outlet or one breaker circuit. Your electrician and your local fire department encourage you to do otherwise. Also be careful not to have outlets that are tied up with lights or blow-up decorations on the same breaker as appliances or outlets that get a lot of usage inside the home (think- your favorite place to plug in the vacuum or the breaker that is tied to the coffee maker or air fryer!)
Decorate the Tree Wisely
Are the young children or mischievous pets running around the home? Keep the glass ornaments higher on the tree than little hands or paws can reach. Keep tinsel away from toddler mouths and make sure all ornament hooks are tight and out of sight. In the same spirit as not overloading circuits and outlets, make sure you are not plugging too many consecutive stands of lights together (yes, there is such a thing as too many running together!) Click here to understand more about wattage and safety with the lights you are decorating with this season. And please, please make sure to test all strands of lights before committing them to the tree.
Be Smart with Living Plants
If you remember nothing else this year, remember this: live trees should be watered daily! There are few things that pose a bigger fire hazard than letting a live tree become dry and then plugging in hundreds of lights adorning dead pine needles. Also, be sure to keep holly and poinsettias far away from the reach of animals, as both can be harmful to dogs and cats if ingested.
Careful with That Ladder
Ladder falls are responsible for thousands of injuries each year around the holiday season. Of course we want to see your home lit up- but not a monitor in the ER. Make sure to only use ladders on flat ground and do not use the top steps on the ladder. Remove gloves and loose fitting coats and jackets before climbing the ladder or nailing/stapling anything (think Christmas Vacation), and possibly even have a spouse or a neighbor work with you to make sure the base stays stable.
Make sure to check the standard age range on the toys purchased for young children. Often, the minimum age takes into consideration the kinds of small parts that may be included in a toy. Check to make sure any required assembly is done beforehand, so as not to have little parts or tools scattered around the floor of the family room on Christmas morning, and make sure that batteries and magnets are kept far out of reach of all small children as ingesting them can be extremely harmful.
Have a safe holiday!