The holiday season is officially in full swing. If you’re in a rush, you may already have your holiday lights hung outside and we certainly don’t blame you for taking advantage of the nice weather. Others prefer to wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to morph their homes into a winter wonderland. No matter which category you fall into, make sure you’re keeping the following safety tips in mind.
Form House Decorating Groups
Those outside lights can be a real bear, especially if you’re constantly climbing up and down ladders to adjust lights and move along your rooftop. Consider getting a group of neighbors together to decorate each home in the group. You can work together to hold ladders, hand each other lights and fixtures, and to generally oversee safety during the house and tree decoration portions of each home’s layout. You could likely finish each home in the group on the same day, ensuring everyone is safe, and then return to your own to finish up with your lower lying decorations and lawn ornaments.
Check Your Lights (Twice)
Check and then double check the strings of lights you’re going to use in and around your home. Make sure the lights for the outside are rated for outdoor use and make sure the lights for inside your home are rated for indoor use. Use the right fasteners to secure your lights to your home and trees to prevent people from getting hurt on or tripping over the cords. When decorating your lawn with metallic trees, avoid attaching lights. The lights can charge the metal decoration and cause potential harm to children or those who touch it.
Safe Holiday Plants
Poinsettas, mistletoe, and holly are all popular holiday plants, but they’re also poisonous as well. If you have young children and pets, you’ll want to avoid plants that can make them sick. Children are often attracted to small berries and pets that tend to eat and chew plants just don’t know the difference. If you have children or pets, you may want to stick to artificial plants or, at the very least, make sure they’re placed far out of reach.
Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree
Will you be putting up a real tree or an artificial tree this year? Both have their risks, but real trees are far more dangerous. If you use a fake tree, make sure the lights and decorations are safe for use with the tree materials. If you buy a real tree, make sure it is as healthy as possible. You’ll need to keep it away from heating sources, candles, and other flammable pieces and you’ll need to keep it well watered. Many people wait until close to Christmas to buy their real trees because they dry out so quickly. A dry tree can engulf a room in flames in as little as 40 seconds if not cared for properly. Weigh the pros and cons carefully.
The holiday season is for fun with family and friends. Enjoy your decorations for as long as you can – but make sure you’re keeping your home and family safe in the process.
About the Author: Lianne Vanliew is a home improvement guru who loves working on her own home, replacing door gaskets and window seals and painting whenever she can. She also loves decorating for the holidays and takes great care to make sure everyone is safe.