The holiday season brings joy and warmth, often marked by festive decorations adorning homes. Amid the excitement, it’s crucial to ensure safety while decking the halls. From wreaths to lighting, here’s a guide to safely embellishing your home for the holidays:
Wreaths When hanging wreaths, choose sturdy hooks or hangers suitable for the weight of the wreath. Inspect artificial wreaths for any damaged wires or sharp edges. For live wreaths, mist them regularly to keep them fresh and prevent them from becoming a fire hazard. Keep them away from heat sources and always remove them promptly after the season ends.
Exterior Lighting Before hanging lights, carefully examine each strand for frayed wires, broken sockets, or any signs of wear and tear. Use outdoor-rated extension cords and lights to prevent hazards. Safely secure lights using clips or hooks rather than staples or nails to avoid damaging wires. Ensure all outdoor outlets are protected from the elements with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent electric shocks.
Indoor Lighting When using indoor lights, don’t overload electrical outlets. Use surge protectors to prevent electrical issues and fires. Turn off decorative lights when leaving the house or heading to bed to avoid potential hazards. Always unplug lights before changing bulbs or adjusting the display.
Fire Safety Keep decorations, especially wreaths, trees, and lights, away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, and candles. Consider using flameless candles or LED candles to create a cozy atmosphere without the fire risk. Ensure smoke detectors are functioning correctly and have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergencies.
Secure Decorations Avoid blocking exits or pathways with large decorations, ensuring a clear escape route in case of an emergency. Secure all decorations, particularly heavy or tall items, to prevent them from toppling over in case of strong winds or accidental bumps.
Tree Safety If opting for a live tree, keep it hydrated to reduce fire risks. Choose a fresh tree, regularly water it, and place it away from heat sources. For artificial trees, check for fire-resistant labels to ensure safety.
Child and Pet Safety Avoid using small decorations or items that could be choking hazards, especially in households with children or pets. Keep potentially harmful plants or decorations out of reach.
Ladder Safety Before stepping on a ladder, read the safety label and follow the weight limits and usage recommendations. Always keep in mind these rules:
If possible, use the "buddy system" and have someone hold the base of the ladder while you are on it.
The base of the ladder should be placed so that it is one foot away from the building for every four feet of height to where the ladder rests against the building.
Follow the “belly button rule”: Face the ladder, keep your belly button toward it at all times, and center your belly button between the right and left side rails of the ladder.
Maintain three points of contact with the ladder — either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
Do not stand on the top step or the ladder cap.
By implementing these safety measures, you can cherish the joy of holiday decorations without compromising the safety of your home and loved ones. Enjoy a wonderful, safe, and beautifully adorned holiday season!