As we prepare for the holidays, twinkle lights and turkey basting tend to take precedence over fire hazards and safety measures.
That’s why TH is helping you keep the chance of something happening at bay by taking certain precautions this season. Accidents happen. Here are 10 things you can do to keep your holiday merry and bright (the safe way).
Check your furnace, chimney and smoke detectors.
These should be checked on a monthly basis already. However, the holiday season can lead to forgetting about the things we do on the daily.
TIP: If you have young children (or even if you don’t), you can take this a step further and create an “Escape Plan” for what should be done if there is a fire.
Keep holiday travel plans offline.
Whether you’re sharing excitement about a vacation or publicly venting about visiting family upstate, try to keep the news off social media until you return. You don’t want the wrong person seeing your post and taking advantage of the fact that you’re home is vacant this weekend.
TIP: Let a trusted neighbor or friend know you’ll be away. Have them check your home and collect your mail if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time.
When cooking, make sure you’re in the kitchen.
Did you know that cooking is the number one cause of fires all year round? Now think about the excess of portions you have on the table come November and December! Stay close just to be safe.
TIP: You can purchase a multipurpose fire extinguisher and store it in the kitchen. Hopefully, this will never need to be used but it is there for those just-in-case moments.
EXTRA TIP: When using your toaster, move it out from under your cabinets.
Turn off your decorations before bed or leaving home.
The last thing you want is an impromptu call from your local fire department while your at your best friend’s Christmas Party. Be sure the decor is off before you leave home or tuck in for the night.
TIP: Timers are great to use for peace-of-mind while sleeping or out of the house. They can also help you save on electricity costs since you won’t be leaving your lights on all night. Don’t forget to test the timer before depending on it completely.
Blow out your candles.
Candle fires are most common in December. While beautiful to look at, they quite literally consist of an open flame in your home. Be sure to blow them out before leaving the room (not just house) or going to bed.
TIP: If you’re going for the look of a candle, LED flame-less candles are a great alternative. If the scent is what you’re after, try out one of the many substitutes that you can plug right into your wall.
Lock windows and doors.
You should always take precautions when it comes to the safety of yourself and family. Window and door locks should be checked once or twice a year to make sure the locks are working. These keep unwanted visitors out and little ones in.
TIP: Don’t display wrapped gifts in front of windows. As much as you want to display that Christmas tree, it is a good idea to close the blinds at night to keep the gifts under your tree and not someone else’s.
Although Spring Cleaning is right around the corner, clutter is a fire hazard just as much in the Winter (not to mention an eyesore).
TIP: Your de-cluttering storage can double as holiday decor. You can find festive baskets and boxes at your local craft store to store your goods until Spring rolls around.
Keep an eye out for frayed or broken strands of lights.
While you’re untangling the holiday lights from last year, you might notice that a few of the bulbs are broken or the wire is frayed. Bulbs can be replaced but if the wire is frayed, you may just want to invest in a new one to prevent a fire from starting.
TIP: Always unplug your lights first if you need to replace a bulb.
Use the right ladder to hang your outside decorations.
It’s also not a bad idea to check for the certification label on your ladder. This ensures that it complies with necessary standards, including weight limits.
TIP: You should also have another person with you. They can spot the ladder for you…and even let you know if your decor is eye-catching enough.
EXTRA TIP: Be sure to check the condition of your ladder. This includes the feet/pulley system and locking mechanisms.
Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh.
If it’s tradition for you to bring home a live tree each year, keep it fresh! Once the branches become dry and brittle, the risk of fire increases. Always keep it watered. After the holidays, check with your local sanitation department to dispose of your tree correctly.
TIP: We’re all for placing trees by your windows. However, it might not be the best idea to recreate that Christmas movie scene and place it by the fireplace.
Home safety doesn’t stop here but these tips are definitely a good place to start. We know these are unnerving topics to cover but our intention isn’t to scare you. It is truly important to make sure you have a great holiday and a prosperous new year. From interior to exterior, TH Remodeling & Renovations has got you covered!