It’s the holiday season and we all want it to be merry and bright. Many of us light candles, put up freshly cut trees and/or garland, and string Christmas lights. When making your Christmas preparations, make sure the Grinch isn’t invited by putting these safety tips at the top of your list.
1.Christmas lights are decorative and fun! But they’ve probably been crunched up and stored for most of the year. Check your light strings for frayed cords, cracked bulb holders, broken bulbs, or loose connections. If there are any issues, opt for replacement rather than repair.
2.Going out for the evening or going to bed? Make sure to turn off all holiday lights.
3.If you have a real Christmas tree, fresh is best. Fresh trees are less dry and more resistant to ignition. But even fresh trees need to be watered and may be thirstier than you think. Check the water in your tree holder daily and keep your tree hydrated.
4.An automatic outdoor timer is a good way to make sure outside Christmas lights are turned off on schedule and save on the electricity bill.
5.Certification Marks: Whether it’s light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, applicable standards for safety and performance are important. To make sure these standards have been followed, always check for accredited certification marks such as CSA International, UL, or ELT.
6.Do not connect extension cords together. Use a single cord long enough to reach the outlet.
7.When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips (not metal nails or tacks) to hold them in place.
8.Using a ladder? Use appropriate ladder safety to make sure you don’t become a casualty and ruin your own holiday.
9.Whether Christmas time or not, a rule that’s always important is to test your smoke alarms monthly. Make sure alarms work and that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are on every level of your home and near all sleeping areas.
10.Another general tip – if it’s wintertime where you live − check your furnace filter. Furnace filters need to be checked frequently and replaced as needed during the heating season.
Obviously, this is only a start and many other safety ideas may also occur to you. So, plan ahead, be safe, and enjoy a wonderful holiday season with friends and family!