All year, you’ve worked to get your home in shape. Whether you’re a renovator, making small improvements or have been taking care of projects and repair as they’ve come up, it’s been a year of effort, money, sweat and – let’s admit it – a few tears.
The last thing you want is for much of it to go up in smoke because of a holiday-related fire.
We’ve come a long way since the days of placing candles on Christmas trees (not to gloat, but, really, 18th Century people? You’re going to haul a dry, dying tree into your wooden home and place little sticks of fire all over it? How any of us are here is clearly another Christmas miracle). That said, there are still a few hazards of the holiday we hope you all avoid. Here are some tips:
- If you’re getting an artificial tree, look for one that’s fire resistant.
- If you’re getting a real tree, try to find a fresh, healthy tree that is less likely to dry-up quickly.
- Consider LED candles, rather than the flaming, catch-stuff-on-fire kind.
- If you do use real candles, don’t leave them unattended.
- Keep everything away from the fireplace. The stockings can be hung with care only if you’re not going to be burning anything.
- Check for frays or barbs in the electric cords of any decorations or electrical items you’ll be using. If you find some, toss it. Obviously, never cause frays or damage to cords by nailing them to anything.
- Never hang Christmas lights on a metal tree (how industrial!). You could risk the tree becoming charged – it’s the sort of thing that could deliver a mega shock.
- Opt for smaller mini bulbs rather than the huge ones we all grew up with. Some old school bulbs are prone to getting quite hot and can cause fires or burns.
- Consider getting LED bulbs this year – they use less energy and get less hot.
- Never use outdoor bulbs indoors.
- Make sure lights and other plugged-in décor are turned off when you leave the house or retire for the night.
And of course – for any time of year – ensure that your fire and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order.