Preparing Your Home for A Safe Christmas
The holiday season is a time for celebration with friends and family. This means more food, decorations, hosting, and a need to be extra cautious around the house.
Here are some tips to help you safely prepare your home for Christmas:
- Keep your driveway and walkways clear: When it snows, clear your driveway and walkways of snow and ice. Your guests and delivery people will appreciate it.
- Holiday plants and pets do not mix: Make sure you keep your pets away from poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, and real Christmas trees, as they can be toxic.
- Reduce clutter: Gifts, guests, decorations, and winter clothes can create hazards. Try to reduce the clutter before the holiday season or confine it to a specific area of your home.
Electrical Safety Tips for The Holidays
Over the holidays, you will likely be installing special lighting and decorations. Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Extension Cords and Plugs
- Do not overload cords or outlets by plugging in too many decorations – it can create overheating or blow the circuit.
- Never remove the third prong on plugs; this is the grounding pin and prevents shock in case of electrical equipment failure.
- Do not run extension cords under carpets, through doorways, or in places where furniture may damage them.
- Keep outdoor connections above ground, away from water, and plug into ground fault protected outlets.
Christmas Light Safety
- Choose the right light – only use indoor lights inside and use lights that are designed for outdoors outside.
- Never exceed the recommended wattage.
- Replace damaged cords, plugs, and ornaments.
- Buy decorations that are CSA-approved. You should be able to see the approval sticker on the cord of the light strings.
Holiday Fire Safety Tips
Whether you are keeping warm by the fire or lighting your favourite candles to create the perfect ambiance, fire safety is a hot topic for the holidays.
- Use the fireplace with care: Whether you have a natural or gas fireplace, it is a source of heat and potential danger. Keep kids and pets away, be careful when placing decorations, and always make sure the fire is out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Use candles safely: Place them in low traffic areas and away from flammable materials. More than one-fifth (22%) of Christmas tree fires start because of a heat source, such as a candle or equipment being too close. When you leave the house or the room, always blow out candles; candles should always be burning in sight and away from flammable items.
- Check your safety alarms: Check your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguisher and first aid kit.
- Keep matches and lights out of reach: We often leave these items lying around the house but be sure to keep them away from children.
- Christmas tree’s can be fire hazards: Especially once the needles start to dry out. Keep your tree well-watered and avoid keeping live trees longer than four weeks. Keep away from any sources of heat.
How To Safely Decorate for The Holidays
Decorating and hosting are fun but can pose risks. On average, there are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season; about half of the incidents involve falls.
As you are decorating your home for the holidays, keep an eye out for common holiday hazards and safety slip-ups. Use these tips:
- Put safety first: We know you want your decorations to look great. But do not sacrifice safety to do it. Ensure that all decorations are properly secured to your home and are not at risk of falling. Check local recalls and safety alerts.
- Choose a safe artificial tree: If you use an artificial tree, choose a tree that is fire resistant; you will see a fire-resistant label when buying. When setting it up, make sure the base is sturdy to avoid tipping or falling over.
- Keep live trees watered: If you use a live tree, make sure you choose a fresh live tree. Keep it watered to ensure it remains green, fresh, and does not become a fire hazard.
- Inspect all light strands before using: Carefully inspect all light strands for damage, loose sockets, fraying, and broken lights. Only use CSA-approved lights.
- Do not overuse extension cords: Never connect more than one extension cord. Make sure you do not overextend electrical outlets, or they could short out.
- Choose decorations wisely: Avoid using decorations that look like food or toys if you have young children or pets.
- Use a helper for decorating: Always have someone spot you when using a ladder, lifting heavy boxes, and hanging lights.
- Place decorations carefully: Keep sharp and potentially dangerous decorations and ornaments out of reach for kids and pets. Look for shatterproof ornaments as an added precaution in case they fall off the tree. Also, keep decorations away from heat sources.
- Turn off lights when leaving: Turn off your outside and indoor holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
Have A Safe and Merry Holiday Season
Being mindful and keeping these tips in the back of your mind will help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.
Happy Holidays from everyone at TPS Group of Companies, we wish you a safe and wonderful holiday season!