Decorating during the holidays is the perfect way to bring the season to life. Unfortunately, many emergency room trips are made as a result of holiday decorating accidents. By following these essential safety tips for holiday decorating, you can protect yourself and loved ones from related injuries.
Protect Family and Friends with Effective Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating
Holiday decorating usually involves extra electrical cords, open flames, glass decorations, and flammable items that increase the risk of injury for people in your home. Electrocution, burns, and ladder falls are all at a higher risk over the holidays. By being proactive and following safety tips for holiday decorating, you can reduce the risk for certain types of accidents.
1. Check the Condition of Electrical Cords
Many people use the same electrical cords year after year. These may be extension cords, light cords on an artificial tree, or string lights. Over time, the protective casing over the electrical wires can deteriorate. In some cases, the wiring is exposed because pests or pets have gnawed on the cord.
When electrical wiring is exposed, the risk of a fire increases. This risk can be reduced if you simply inspect all electrical cords each year before using them for holiday decorating. Get rid of any that look frayed or worn.
2. Reduce Fire Risk for Natural Trees
The fire risk for natural trees is something to be aware of. These trees can easily become dry in a short period of time if not watered sufficiently, and dry needles are highly flammable.
Identify heat sources like the fireplace and space heater and keep your natural tree away from them to reduce fire risk. As you consider safety tips for holiday decorating, keeping your tree hydrated throughout the season should be on your list.
3. Power Down Before Bed
Some people leave their holiday lights on throughout the night, inside and outside. If a short occurs when you are sleeping, you won’t respond as quickly to extinguish the flame or to get out of the house.
Even if you have carefully checked the cords before installing the holiday lights, get in the habit of turning off all lights before bed. Likewise, extinguish a fire in the fireplace and any burning candles. Check your smoke detectors to make sure that they are functional and keep a fire extinguisher on each floor of the home.
4. Eliminate Tripping Hazards
Extra cords plugged in for holiday decorations means there’s a greater risk people will trip over them in your home. After decorating, look for possible tripping hazards and take action to minimize them. Cords can be taped down or a small rug can be placed over them.
Also, be wary of plugging too many strings of lights into one outlet. Most standard household outlets can handle 15-20 amps, so check your lights and make sure you are not overloading them.
Injuries happen during the holiday season and many accidents are the result of holiday decorating. As you prepare to decorate your home for the upcoming season, focus on these safety tips for holiday decorating.
Rhode Island Real Estate Inspection Services wishes you a happy and safe holiday season!