The holidays are here, and for many, winter festivities begin by retrieving heavy boxes marked “Christmas” from the attic.
Between holiday shopping for your loved ones and competing with your neighbors for the brightest outdoor light display, you might feel rushed while getting your house up to par for Good Ol’ Saint Nick. But the time-honored trimming of the Christmas tree, the lighting of a menorah or the lining of rooftops with strings of brightly colored bulbs doesn’t come without its dangers.
Our goal in today’s blog is to simply bring out a few tips, and for a more in-depth list of DO’s and DONT’s, take a look at this page from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
According to a chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, last year there were about 240 visits to the emergency room every day during the holiday season for holiday-related injuries. The CPSP estimates that this year, 1,300 fires from Christmas trees and candles will occur, leading to 150 emergency room visits and up to 20 fatalities. The agency is encouraging holiday enthusiasts to remain attentive when decorating their homes.
Smart Tips for Safely Enjoying the Holidays
Prevention is the best plan of attack when it comes to staying safe during the holidays. The tips below will help ensure your holidays are filled with joy—not trips to the ER.
Use the Buddy System
Millions of people who don’t regularly use ladders will be shimmying up to hang lights and decorations. Falls on ladders are one of the most common emergency room visits and can cause serious injury. Falling from ladders is often the result of improper positioning before ascent or overreaching and slipping while on the ladder, often resulting in a fall several feet above the ground.
Attempting to carry all the tools and decorations up a ladder can easily go awry. Whenever possible, work as a team of at least two people with one person stabilizing the ladder and assisting with handing tools, nails and the decorations to the person up the ladder.
Check Your Lights (They’re Cheap)
Holidays lights that have been in storage and weathered winter storms may become frayed or have loose bulbs that allow moisture to enter. If you come across a string of lights that is looks in disrepair, it’s worth it to just buy new ones. Newer lights like LED’s are often brighter, may be more durable and also a reasonable price.
Keep Your Tree Hydrated, Water Your Tree
It sounds simple, but people forget – especially if you don’t have much of a “green thumb” to begin with. Dead branches and pine needles on a tree strung with warm lights is a spectacular fire waiting to happen – and we see it every year on the news! Check the water level daily, and if there are children in the home this is a task that can easily be delegated. After all, Santa is watching!
Give The Tree Some Space
Be sure to keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from lights or heat sources such as bright lamps, fireplaces or candles. Speaking of candles, be sure to give candles plenty of room as more than 50% of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms Are Working
Be sure that smoke alarms are installed and are working across your home. A new, working smoke detector can be much more affordable than you may believe, in fact, you can get a whole set for the house for less than $18.
Don’t Inhale The Fumes Around Fake Snow
Many cans of fake snow contain chemicals such as acetone and methyl chloride that can be dangerous when inhaled. If you choose to spray fake snow from spray cans, be mindful of children and pets.
Make Sure The Holiday Plants Are Not Poisonous
Mistletoe is poisonous to people and contains toxins can lead to blurred vision and even death. Holly can also be lethal if ingested while poinsettias can be dangerous to pets. For a full list, check out this blog by Rover and share it with your pet-loving friends.