Ah,…Christmastime. It’s full of magical lights and dazzling decorations that make the season extra special. It’s also a lot of work and can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Being in the insurance industry, we always think about risks,…but the holidays highlight just how safety-conscious we are. Make sure you and your loved ones follow these simple rules for making your holiday safe.
1. Make sure your tree is in a secure, stable tree stand on a solid surface.
2. And speaking of trees, be sure to check to the water level in your tree daily. Indoor heating and pets can drain it quickly. There is less chance of a tree catching fire if it is fresh and well hydrated.
3. Keep candles far away from your tree and other decorations. The top three days for candle fires (according to the National Fire Protection Association) are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. Place trees AT LEAST 3 feet away from all heat sources.
4. Use a ladder or sturdy step stool to hang decor in higher parts of the tree. Don’t grab the tree for support.
5. Make sure your ladder is stable, and that you have a partner to help hold the ladder. Friends don’t let friends hang lights alone.
6. On your outdoor light displays, avoid using nails – or staples – to hang Christmas lights. Use hooks instead.
7. Wear dry, slip-resistant shoes and well-fitting clothing to climb ladders to secure lights and displays.
8. Use lights rated for where they will be used. Indoor lights should ONLY be used inside. Outdoor lights should ONLY be used outdoors. Inspect the lights carefully each year and replace any light strands that are frayed or have loose connections. Electrical failures are a factor in 1/3 of all Christmas Tree fires.
9. Turn off ALL lights or decorations before going to bed or leaving the house, and fully unplug extension cords when not in use.
10. Keep decorations up and out of the reach of curious children. Adults are often distracted this time of year, and small children are attracted by the fun displays.
By keeping these 10 tips in mind, you’ll have a much more enjoyable – and safe – Gifmas, er uh, I mean CHRISTMAS.