Christmas is one of the best times of the year and as it gets closer, we all get into that festive mood that makes us put lights and candles everywhere. While decorating your home is a nice task for the entire family that brings a lot of joy and fun, it can be a bit dangerous as well if not properly done.
Holiday decorations are a real fire hazard and if you are not careful how you choose your tree or lights, how you install them, you may end up damaging or losing your belongings or even your entire apartment in a fire. If you are renting your apartment, your landlord will not be pleased to receive such a Christmas gift. This would be a perfect moment to get renters insurance and have your belongings (and yourself) protected in case something bad happens!
In order to avoid troubles during the holiday season, take note of the following safety tips to prevent holiday disasters:
Take proper care of your Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is an iconic item present in many homes this time of year. There are several things you can do to make sure that it poses no danger to your apartment.
- Choose a fresh live tree and keep it well hydrated. It looks better and it is less susceptible to fire.
- Don’t place the tree near a fireplace or a heater as it can easily catch fire. Despite being alive, the tree is still flammable because of its needles and sap. Choose a location that you can monitor, and where you can keep an eye on small kids or pets trying to play with the tree and threatening to put it down.
- Choose decorations that are flame-retardant and non-conductive. Do not use lighted candles for decoration.
- If you opt for an artificial tree, go for one that is fire-resistant as it poses less danger of catching fire.
Pay attention to the holiday lights
The Christmas lights are another major potential problem during the holidays. We all love the mood they bring, but be very careful when installing and using them. In order to prevent electric fire, you need to follow the guidelines issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that can help you determine whether your decoration is safe or not.
There are also a few tips to help you stay safe while having great winter holiday lights:
- Replace your old lights if they are more than 3 years old, or if you notice any problems with wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
- Replace any missing or broken bulbs on the strand before putting it on.
- Avoid linking more than 3 strands of lights together.
- Always turn lights off when you are going to bed or out of the house. You can even unplug them if you wish.
- Unplug lights before putting them up or taking them down.
- Don’t put strands of lights on the ground. Someone may trip and thus injure themselves and/or cause a problem with the lights.
- Use hooks or insulated staples to mount the lights. Nails or tacks may damage the cords.
Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace
Paper can cause flash fires, so avoid burning wrapping paper in your fireplace. You can recycle it or even reuse it.
Don’t light candles when you are away
Candles are holiday-time favorites and mood-setting. Always use a sturdy base to place them on so that they cannot tip. Never leave burning candles unattended even if you simply need to go to the bathroom. Don’t lit candles when you are going out and don’t use them for decorating the tree.
Don’t leave the oven unattended
When cooking dinner, don’t leave the oven unattended for a long time as burned fat or charcoaled cookies, for example, can also start a fire. If you are considering cooking your turkey overnight on low, your oven may stop working properly at some point and cause a problem, so do not choose such a method.
Keep a fire extinguisher handy
Last but not least, it is a good idea to keep your fire extinguisher handy. Make sure that you are using the right fire extinguisher. There is a label on each fire extinguisher to show when you can use it. Class A is good against fire made by paper, wood, textiles, Class B is used against flammable liquid fires, while Class C can be used in the event of fire in electrical equipment or such fires caused by electricity. Most residential fire extinguishers are multi-purpose and are labeled ABC.
These safety tips are brought to you by Goodman Management Team – wishing you all jolly and safe Christmas holidays.