Cookies left out for Santa. Brightly-colored ribbons atop cheery packages. Eggnog with family and friends. When you think of the holidays, chances are good that you think of scenes just like this.
What may not come immediately to mind this holiday season is what safety measures you need to take to keep the season bright. Before you hang the stocking and deck the halls, you’ll want to create a checklist of to-dos. These tasks could include rewiring an outlet, examining the tree lights for broken cords, putting new batteries in your smoke detectors, and other measures.
If you’re not sure where to start, why not take a look at the list below? These tasks are sure to keep your family safe throughout the holiday season.
Keep Electrical Problems at Bay
Have the Wiring Inspected
While it’s tempting to use an abundance of lights around your home, this addition to your home’s electrical system could overload it.
In the best case scenario, you may have to search for the fuse box in the dark because you have too many Christmas lights blinking on your tree. In the worst case scenario, you have an electrical fire because your home’s old wiring system can’t handle the load.
If you do have an old home and you are concerned about the wiring, be sure to have someone come out and take a look at the wiring.
Some signs that you might need new wiring include:
You have frequently dimming lights.
Your breakers dim all the time.
You live in an old home.
Your appliances are new but the home wiring is not.
Even if you don’t have these issues, getting some practical advice from a professional about how to keep your home safe during the holiday season is never a bad idea.
Check Electrical Cords
December might be the month of good cheer, but it also has the distinction of being the month that sees the most electrical fires. You can avoid many of these issues by inspecting your electrical holiday decorations before they go on the tree.
Look for string lights that might have frayed wires. Throw these away. Don’t attempt to fix them with tape. Once these items touch your tree’s branches, the risk of fire becomes too great.
Next, replace any broken bulbs on your lights. When you’re replacing the lights make sure that you replace they have proper voltage.
Finally, don’t leave your Christmas lights burning when you leave the house or when you and your family head off to bed. Unplug them if you’re not going to be around.
Around the House
You already know that December is a high-risk month when it comes to house fires. Make sure you check all of your smoke detectors before the holiday season gets underway. Replace any batteries that are old and then check that the smoke detector works once the batteries have been changed.
Other Fire Hazards
Candles play a big role in traditional holiday decorating. However, they can also be the cause of quite a few home hazards. When you are choosing your candle displays make sure that they come with a solid base. This will prevent the candle from tipping over. Also, don’t leave an unattended candle. If you’re going somewhere, blow it out.
Additionally, while it may be tempting to burn items like wrapping paper in your fireplace, avoid doing that. This type of paper can cause flash fires, due to how quickly it burns.
And if you have a gas fireplace, never run it if it is not completely protected by glass. If anything is amiss with this, have a professional come and repair it.
Finally, be mindful of the decorations you put outside. Make sure that all rain gutters are cleared of dead leaves and muck and that your electrical cords are off the ground. The insulated tape is the safest option to position these items into place around the outside of your home. Avoid using screws and nails to hang these items.
Last Minute To-Do’s
Putting some home safety measures in place before you ring in the holiday helps you keep you and yours safe this season.
Before the tree is trimmed and the cookies are baked, you’ll want to do a home inspection. Be sure to check around the house for broken outlets, bad wiring, old furnace filters, and other hazards.
If after you have done the rounds you find that your home needs more TLC than you can administer yourself, think about giving Beacon Home Services a call.