December 07 2014

Christmas Decorations Safety Tips

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you put up your Christmas decorations. Many families get together and put up their Christmas tree as a family holiday tradition. Dad goes outside and puts up thousands of lights on the roof and around the house, while mom and the kids put up garland and lights around the yard and on the guardrails. Seeing thousands of tiny Christmas lights is quite beautiful, but there are some safety concerns that should be addressed and here are some tips to help keep your holidays jolly and emergency room free!

  1. Lets begin with your lights and decorations. When putting up Christmas lights, make sure that you use Canadian Standards Association certified lights. They are guaranteed to be safe for your home. When decorating outside, never put lights or decorations on your handrails as they can be a hazard when walking up or down stairs during slippery conditions.
  2. Always inspect each set of lights before placing them on or in your home. Frayed or exposed wires can be a fire hazard and should be repaired or removed immediately. It’s a good idea to replace any burnt out or broken blubs too.
  3. When choosing lights, remember to use lights in their properly marked place. Outdoor lights typically have extra insulation or weatherproof coatings that make them safe to use outdoors, while indoor lights do not. Using outdoor lights inside can be just as hazardous, as they sometimes burn brighter than indoor lights.
  4. If you choose to burn candles, make sure they are kept at a safe distance from curtains or anything else that they could catch on fire. Don’t ever leave them unattended, as a pet or child could easily knock one over and cause a fire. It is best to place candles on stable surfaces.
  5. Make sure not to overload your outlets. Electrical outlets with too many plugs can short out and cause a fire or damage your homes wiring. It is best to keep cords free and never underneath furniture, carpets or rugs when they may overheat.
  6. When choosing your Christmas tree make sure to get a tree that is healthy and green. A strong, freshly-cut tree can help avoid fires. Remove any dead or weak branches and anything else on the tree that could be a safety hazard to your family.
  7. Make sure not to set up your tree next to any open flames and make sure it has plenty of water to keep it from drying out.
  8. When decorating your tree, make sure that any breakable ornaments are secure on your tree. It is best to use decorations that are flame resistant.
  9. When placing your lights, make sure there are no loose ends that could fall into the water that is keeping your tree fresh and green.
  10. Fireplaces are great to have during the holiday season, but use common sense when using them. Some simple tips are keep your smokestack clear, only use seasoned wood, never use gasoline or kerosene to start a fire indoors and always use a screen in front of your fireplace to protect from flying sparks and loose embers.

With these tips and a little common sense, you are well on your way to having a safe and happy holiday season!