Christmas and holiday decorations are a lot of fun for children and adults alike – they provide festive cheer and allow you to express your creativity both indoors and out. Decorations have gotten much safer over the years, significantly reducing risk of fire. Modern decorations are also energy-efficient, which allows them to be operated at a lower cost and in more unique patterns and styles than ever before. However, even well-made decorations still pose some risk for home use. To help you avoid some of the safety risks of Christmas decorations this holiday season, follow these important tips:
Inspect Decorations before Using
Before putting up any decorations be sure to check them for evidence of wear. Decorations with frayed cords or wires should be properly disposed of and loose or broken bulbs should be fixed or replaced. If you have any doubts that something may be safe, do not use it! The risk of electrical shock or fire is too high (especially on indoor decorations). Even if your decorations are fairly new, you should still check them because storing them in a basement, garage, or shed can open them up to bugs or mice that can wreak havoc on electrical components.
All decorations come with directions for use, which are usually printed on the outside of the box, on a paper insert, and on a tag on the decorations themselves. Failing to follow these instructions can ruin the decorations and cause a significant hazard. Christmas lights are particularly susceptible to misuse. Never string more lines together than what’s recommended, or you run the risk of ruining your lights and compromising your home.
Be Mindful of Cords
When plugging in cords, be sure that they do not cross where people are expected to walk (entryways, stairs, walkways, etc.) because they can pose a tripping hazard. Also keep cords away from where a plow or snow blower may be used. Running over a cord while clearing snow can pull decorations down, cause electrical shock, and even result in a fire.
Stay Away from Lit Candles
Lit candles provide a beautiful glowing light and can also give off a nice fragrance; however, open flames are dangerous for family members and pets. Instead of using real candles, use flickering lightbulb replicas and scented air freshener plugins. These will give the same ambiance as candles and you don’t have to worry about carefully lighting them and then remembering to put them out.
Use a Timer
Having a timer on the holiday lights and decorations in your yard enables you to avoid having to go out in icy or snowy weather to turn them on. This convenience will not only keep you warm, but also safe from slipping and falling. Many modern home security systems, including those offered by Dynamark Security of Richmond, offer home automation features that include lighting controls. If you still prefer to turn your lights on yourself, you can get a remote light starter to turn them on with the push of a button from inside.
Happy holidays and stay safe with your decorations!