The Holiday Season is here! It is easy to get caught up in the festivities. While you are busy decorating the house, you may forget to always prioritize safety for you and your family.
Although the season is about fun, happiness, and family get-togethers, mishaps can happen. Falls, cuts, burns & back strains are some of the most common injuries that send people to the ER during the holidays. To ensure you have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season with your friends and family, here are 12 tips to keep in mind as you deck out your home:
- Work as a team.
Decorating during the holidays can be a tougher job than you may think. It can be a sort of bonding for a family to work as a team in putting on decorations around the house so the job can be easier and more fun. Help one another in putting up the tree. Also, when stringing lights and decorations above your normal reach, make sure you use a proper ladder with someone supporting the base. This will keep you safe and avoid slip and fall accidents.
- Keep live trees away from heat sources.
If you have a live Christmas tree, position it far from fireplaces and heaters. Live trees are highly flammable due to needles and sap. Keeping this in mind, make sure to put a fire extinguisher near your tree.
- Hydrate your live trees.
Continuing tip 2, ensure proper hydration to your live tree. A dried-out tree can catch fire faster than one that has been properly watered.
- Fake it!
You may opt to buy an artificial tree. These trees are fire-resistant. They are less susceptible to catching fire. If you buy an artificial tree, label it as “fire-resistant.”
- Double-check your lights.
Replace any lights with frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections. The CPSC issued new guidelines for seasonal light safety in 2015, setting a minimum wire size, and standards for strain relief and over-current protection.
- Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
Paper can catch fire very quickly and can cause flash fires. Instead, recycle your wrapping paper.
- Secure candles.
Keep candles on a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Use unbreakable ornaments.
If you have fragile ornaments, place them out of reach from pets and kids.
- Skip the fake food.
Avoid decorations that look like candy or food if you have young children — or pets — in the house.
- Beware of poisonous plants.
Some festive plants are poisonous and should be avoided. Poinsettias are poisonous when eaten, so keep them out of reach of kids and pets. Some plants to avoid too are holly, mistletoe, English ivy, and yew. You can research these plants before buying and using them as decorations.
- Prevent electrical cord damage.
Do not mount lights in a way that might damage the cords, and avoid using nails or tacks. Use hooks or insulated staples instead.
- Power down before you turn it on.
Turn off all lights when you go to bed and before leaving the house to avoid a short that could start an electrical fire.