Monday, December 3, 2007

Holiday Household Safety

It's that time of year again – this weekend we pulled out boxes of Christmas decorations from the garage and started whipping up some holiday spirit! It can be a lot of fun, but it's also an important time to think about safety. Every year we hear about people who are injured, and homes that are damaged &/or burned down, because someone didn't take a simple safety precaution. Most of this is pure common sense, but I think it's important enough to repeat anyway...


Exterior Lights and Decorations - Check to make sure your lights are certified for outdoor use. Use hooks or insulated staples to hang lights, rather than nails or tacks. Don't string more than 3 strands of lights together. Point light bulbs downward, and when connecting 2 strands of lights, wrap the connection in plastic and seal with Teflon tape, to prevent moisture build up. Never use an indoor extension cord for outdoor lights. Use a weatherproof/rainproof outlet cover to plug in your lights, and plug them into a GFCI outlet. Check your connections after a storm or a night with heavy wind.

Christmas Trees - Check the tree's water daily (or more often if you have pets). If needles fall off in bunches, are easy to pull off, or break when bent between your fingers your tree is too dry (and watering won't help at this point.) When setting your tree up, place it away from heating vents, fire places, and portable space heaters. Also place it away from high traffic areas where it might get knocked over. Turn off your lights at night or when away from home. Use smaller lights if possible, because they put off less heat. Be careful about hanging bulbs or ornaments low on the tree if you have young children around the house (or pets who might want to play with them.)

Decorations - Be careful with lighted candles (near a tree or other evergreens). If you have children around, try to avoid decorations that are sharp, breakable, or have small pieces. After opening gifts, remove all bags, wrapping paper, ribbons and bows from the tree and fireplace area to avoid potential choking or fire. If you have a holiday party, clean up before going to bed so an early-rising child doesn't ingest something they shouldn't.

Have Fun – Sure the holidays are a lot of extra work. And they've been completely commercialized. And now I'm adding a bunch extra things for you to watch out for... That's OK! It's still a time when people go out of their way to do good things for each other and spend time with each other. So put on a smile and enjoy yourself this holiday season!

Your getting in the holiday spirit Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] holidays, Christmas lights, holiday safety, Christmas tree, Fletcher Heights [/tags]