Over 80% of Americans choose to decorate their homes for the winter holidays. Candles, greenery, garlands, and ornaments add a festive touch to seasonal celebrations. To prevent accidents and injury, use these tips for safety when decorating your home this year.
Using Candles for Holiday Décor
Unsafe use of candles causes holiday house fires every year. If you decorate with candles, use battery-powered models for safety. If you must use live fire, set the candles on a flat, fire-resistant surface out of the reach of children and pets. Keep candles away from anything flammable. This includes holiday decorations, furniture, draperies, gift wrap, and bedding. Never leave burning candles unattended and extinguish the flame before you leave the house or go to bed.
Safety When Decorating With Holiday String Lights
An estimated 160 house fires occur every year in the United States because of holiday string lights. If you’re decorating with lights, use these safety tips to reduce the risk of fire and injury or property damage.
- When purchasing holiday lights, choose LEDs. This type of light is cooler to the touch and also more energy-efficient.
- Before installing string lights, inspect them thoroughly. Look for cracked or frayed wires, missing or broken bulbs, and damaged plugs. Don’t use lights that aren’t in perfect condition.
- Read the label on your string lights to see if they’re rated for indoor or outdoor use. Indoor lights won’t hold up to winter weather. If you’re using extension cords to power your lights, make sure you check the rating on those, too.
- Don’t use nails or a staple gun to hang your lights. Purchase plastic clips that are designed for this purpose.
- Unplug the holiday lights when you leave the house or go to sleep.
Enjoying a Holiday Tree
If you’re using a live tree this year, purchase one that is as fresh as possible. As a tree dries out, it becomes more of a fire hazard. After setting up your tree, water it daily. Choose low-temperature LED lights to decorate the tree and around garlands and greenery. Keep your tree away from the fireplace and don’t use candles on or around your holiday tree.
Holiday Safety When Decorating With Plants
If you have young children or pets, take care if you’ll be decorating with flowers and houseplants. Common holiday greenery, like mistletoe, holly, peace lily, and poinsettias are toxic to children and pets. Instead, choose house plants that aren’t poisonous. Some beautiful and non-toxic plants for the holiday season include Christmas cactus, Phalaenopsis orchids, bromeliads, roses, and African violets.
Enjoy a safe and healthy home this holiday season by practicing these tips.