The holiday season is a merry, joyous time for you and your family, but it can also pose hidden safety hazards. While decorating your home and celebrating with friends and family, just be sure to also be mindful of things like fire hazards, home security, and other potential safety issues. Here are seven home safety tips to get you and your loved ones safely through a happy holiday season:
Have Your Electrical Inspected
If you haven't had your electrical system inspected by a professional electrician in years, the holiday season is a great time to do so. This is especially important in an older home where your electrical system may not be equipped to handle a large amount of Christmas lights.
It's better to get a clear idea from a professional about how many lights may be plugged into any one circuit than risk overloading your system, which would make you vulnerable to a house fire. An electrician, such as those at Lowry Services: Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, can also repair and update any old wiring that poses a fire hazard.
Follow Safe Christmas Tree Practices
Few things are quite as festive as a twinkling Christmas tree surrounded by presents, but Christmas trees also pose a fire risk. For a safe Christmas tree experience, be aware of the following:
Inspect all Lights Before Hanging Them
Christmas lights should be tossed and replaced if they are damaged or broken in any way. Fraying cords are particularly dangerous and should be thrown out rather than repaired with electrical tape. LED lights are a safer and more energy-efficient option, as they don't burn as hot as conventional Christmas lights.
Don't Leave the Kitchen Unattended
Everyone seems to cook and bake more during the holidays. This is a good thing but is also something to be cautious about. According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires.
Never leave anything on the stove top unattended, as something as simple as a little olive oil splattering onto a dish rag can quickly spark a kitchen fire. If you are baking, check on the oven frequently and do not leave your home with the oven on.
Don't Let Your Home Look Abandoned
Fires aren't the only safety risk at the holidays. Holiday travel leaves your home vulnerable to break-ins while you're away. Make sure your home looks lived in while you're gone. You can ask a friend or house sitter to come by to bring in the mail, open and close blinds, and turn lights on at night. Alternatively, you may wish to invest in an automated timing system for both your indoor and outdoor lights.
If you live in an area with frequent break-ins, a security system with an alarm is well worth the cost. Modern security systems allow you to monitor them from anywhere via your laptop or smart phone.
Be Careful with Your Fireplace
A cozy fire makes the holidays more merry, but if not handled responsibly your fireplace can also be dangerous. Make sure your fireplace is professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep at the start of the season and before lighting your first fire. Never light a fire without checking that the damper is open, as that is how smoke safely escapes your home.
By following these tips, you and your family will be able to enjoy a safe and festive holiday season.
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