By Platinum Team October 30, 2012

Fire Safety for the Holidays

We all love decorating our homes for the holidays. It is a long standing tradition that is a time of fun and bonding for the whole family. Along with cute pumpkins, turkey figurines and wreaths comes the tradition of decorating with lights. While very beautiful, if not done correctly and safely, decorating with lights can be very dangerous. Many also decorate with trees around the Christmas holiday. Christmas trees are beautiful, fun and smell great, but if real, dry out and can become hazardous. According to the National Fire Protection Association and the United States Fire Administration, “an estimated 240 home fires involving Christmas trees another 150 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year.” This is a scary statistic! When decorations are not done safely, it can cost millions, and more frighteningly, lives. Luckily, there are many great tips readily available to keep your home and your family safe during the holidays while still enjoying the fun of decorating your home. When dealing with Christmas trees there are a few things to consider for safety. When decorating your home with a real Christmas tree, you will need to keep it well watered. Some signs that it your tree is being properly watered are that the needles should be green and hard to pull off. Also, the tree trunk should be sticky to the touch. When deciding the perfect place to display your beautiful Christmas tree, make sure that it is not placed to close to a fireplace or other heat source. Note: you should not keep a tree up for more than 2 weeks after it has been cut. This particular tip is one that many people ignore or think they can stretch just a little, but as the tree dries out it becomes a major fire hazard and it is far better to just remove the tree. When using an artificial Christmas tree, inspect it each year. Particularly if your tree is pre-lit, inspect your tree for any frayed wired and anything that may appear broken. Remove any damage, or if the damage cannot be removed, it may be time to invest in a new artificial tree. While some of these tips may seem tedious, you want your Christmas tree to be a source of beauty and not of stress and concern. When decorating with lights during the holiday season there are many things to consider when ensuring that your home will be safe using your decorations. Since many families often reuse lights each year, it is important that you inspect the lights each year for things like frayed wires, excessive kinking and wear. If you can remove or repair the damge do so, but it may be best to consider replacing the lights if there is visible damage so as not to put your family at unnecessary risk. When decorating with lights you should also make sure to not overload electrical outlets which can be very dangerous. Also, while beautiful, you should not leave holiday lights on unattended. The holidays should be a time of joy and togetherness. Decorating your home is a fun and special time for the family, but safety still needs to be a priority. By doing the steps discussed above, you can have peace of mind that your holidays will be both beautiful and safe.]]>