It’s that time of the year again! You’ve probably noticed most stores have all their holiday decorations out already, a few even have the Michael Bublé Christmas album playing melodically while you shop. Maybe, your neighbours are beginning to string lights on their homes. Those of us who never got around to taking down the lights are now relieved to turn on the lights without judgment from passersby. You might even be debating the pros and cons between an artificial tree and a real one, (love the smell of the real ones – hate the mess of needles).
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed holiday season lover or a bit of a scrooge, we have some holiday home care and safety tips to make sure you and your family can enjoy the festivities without any accidents or mishaps.
O Christmas Tree Safety
Putting up the Christmas tree is probably the quickest way to get into the holiday spirit. The lights give the room a soft glow that instantly make your home feel a little cozier and more festive. Whether you opt for an artificial tree or a real one, we have a few things to remember to keep your family and home safe throughout the holidays.
- If you own or are looking to buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s made from flame resistant or flame-retardant material.
- When picking the perfect real tree, make sure you check the needles. If the needles are dry and easily fall off when you touch them, the tree will not last long and is higher risk for catching fire.
- When you find your tree and bring it home, make sure to put it in a stand that can hold 2-3 litres of water to keep it moist and alive.
- When decorating your tree, whether real or artificial, avoid using small decorations that could potentially be choking hazards for children and/or pets.
- Also, make sure when you set up your tree that it doesn’t block any exits, making getting in and out a challenge in the case of an emergency.
Deck the Halls with Lots of Lights
Stringing the holiday lights on the house can be an arduous task. It involves heights, electricity, potentially ice and long easily tangled strings of wires. What could go wrong?
- Use precaution when setting up a ladder to put up your lights. Make sure the ladder is the right height for the job you’re doing, is placed on level ground and has non-slip feet – especially for snowy or icy conditions.
- Keep in mind that the safest set-up is to lean the ladder against the house at a ratio of 4:1 to keep it sturdy and prevent falls.
- Make sure your lights are the proper lighting rated for outdoor use and proper extension cords for the amp load.
- All outdoor lights should be plugged into GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) extension cord or outlet for extra protection.
Fa la la la la, la la la Fire
During our cold Alberta winters, the weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful. We know how enjoyable those cozy winter nights curled up by the fire can be, unfortunately, most residential fires occur in the winter. It’s easy to get careless in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, here are some tips so you can relax without risking damage to your home or family.
Kitchen & Cooking
- Big family dinners, parties to host, cookies to bake – there is a lot going on in your kitchen during the holidays. It’s a simple reminder but it can make a huge difference – turn off the stove and oven when you’re not using it.
- In an emergency situation where you need to control a grease fire, cover the blaze in baking soda to weaken the flame. Also, your first instinct might be to crank up the hood fan, don’t do this! This will actually fuel the fire by feeding it oxygen.
Candles & Fireplaces
- Candles and fireplaces add warmth and ambience to your home. Prevent the potential for a fire and never leave these sources of fire unattended.
- When decorating, make sure to keep everything at least 3 feet away from fireplaces. Also, keep candles on stable surfaces away from curtains, paper, furniture or anything flammable.
The holiday season can be a wonderful time spent reconnecting with friends and family, sharing meals, exchanging gifts and (hopefully) resting. Whatever traditions you have that surround this season, avoid getting caught in the hustle and bustle and make time to take precautions. Use our holiday home safety tips to prevent risks and have a happy and safe holiday season.