There’s always something magical about this time of year – finding and trimming the perfect tree, gathering around the table with family and friends, and seeing the beauty of the season through a child’s eyes.
But as exciting as the holiday season can be, it also can present certain dangers that can put you and your loved ones at risk. Fortunately, you can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries by observing common sense safety measure, including the following:
Choose holiday decorations wisely
Whether you’re decorating the mantle, displaying a festive table centerpiece, or stringing lights from your roof, make sure your decorations are as safe as possible. Whenever possible, choose ornaments made of non-combustible and flame-resistant materials. Before stringing lights outside, make sure they are rated for outdoor use. And avoid displaying decorations that look like food or candy if you have small children in the home.
Avoid a shocking celebration.
Don’t overburden your electrical outlets and power strips, and avoid stringing multiple extension cords together. Check holiday lights for frayed or damaged wires before plugging them in, and test each strand separately before hanging. Use hooks or insulated staples to hold lights in place. And don’t forget to unplug them before you leave the house or go to bed.
Tree trimming basics.
If you’re opting for an artificial holiday tree this year, choose one that is specifically labeled as fire-resistant. If you prefer live trees, check for freshness. A fresh tree has green needles that do not fall off easily or break when bent between your fingers. Cut a few inches off the trunk of the tree to allow for better water absorption and prevent it from drying out. Place the tree away from sources of heat, and water your real tree daily.
Entertain with style – and safety – in mind.
If tiny tots are among your guests over the holidays, take the time to childproof your home. Plug up electrical outlets, remove fragile items from reach, and opt for flameless LED vs. flame-lit candles. Set timers to remind you to check on food items in the oven, and don’t leave cooking items on the stove unattended. Offer your guests plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and keep your guest’s food allergies in mind when preparing and serving food. Finally, clean up immediately after a holiday party to prevent children or pets from helping themselves to any off-limits snacks or beverages.
One more thing: if you have guests coming and staying with you from out of town, do you have all the hot water you need to meet the increased demand, however temporary it might be? If you’re not sure of your water heater has been “acting up” lately, contact Plumbtastic to schedule a water heater performance and safety inspection. We’ll tell you exactly what’s going on and what, if any, repairs it might need to improve its performance.