The holidays are here, and it’s time to get festive!
That means decking the halls with all your favorite decorations—candles, lights, stockings, mistletoe, and more.
But as cheerful as it is to adorn your home with these holiday trimmings, it’s important to do so with safety in mind. These items often increase the risk of fires and can create tripping hazards if set up improperly.
So, to celebrate safely this year, follow these winter holiday safety tips when decorating your home!
Follow the Three-Feet Rule
When setting up decorations—especially flammable ones—always place them at least three feet away from any heat sources.
These can include fireplaces, candles, radiators, heaters, electronics, lights, etc.
Check Your Smoke Detectors
Before the festivities begin, test all your smoke detectors to make sure they’re working properly, and replace the batteries if necessary.
Dead smoke detectors can allow a fire to become out of control before you even realize it.
Practice Christmas Tree Safety
Between the lights, electric cables, and fragile ornaments, your Christmas tree can be quite a safety risk.
To minimize the risk of tree-related mishaps, follow the three-feet rule, avoid flammable decorations, check your lights for any damage, and don’t forget to water it daily.
For a complete guide on tree safety, check out our recent article, Christmas Tree Safety Tips to Prevent Accidents & Fires.
Check All Decorations & Cables
Whether they’re electric candles, string lights, or battery-powered decorations, make sure to check them for damage before setting them up.
Frayed wires, damaged plugs, and broken bulbs are serious fire hazards, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t forget to check your extension cords for damage too!
Avoid Running Cords Under Rugs & Furniture
Get-togethers, both big and small, can lead to high traffic throughout your home. That’s why it’s best to avoid running electric cables under rugs and furniture.
Excessive pressure from constant foot traffic or people using your furniture can create hard creases and breakages in the wires, greatly increasing the risk of a fire.
Practice Proper Extension Cord Use
Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that a shocking 3,300 home fires occur each year due to improper extension cord use.
Here are a few quick winter holiday safety tips they recommend to help you light your home safely:
- Avoid using more than one extension cord per outlet.
- Keep outdoor extension cords away from snow and standing water.
- If you use a lot of extension cords, you may need to install more electrical outlets in your home.
- Don’t staple or nail extension cords to surfaces.
- Don’t run extension cords through walls, floors, or ceilings. If a cord is covered, the heat has no way to escape, which may result in a fire.
- Don’t cut off the third prong to fit an extension cord to a two-prong outlet—this can leave you vulnerable to an electrical shock.
- Don’t use extension cords to power heaters or fans. They may overheat and cause a fire.
Keep the Environment Safe for Children & Animals
With the fireplace, decorative candles, and piping hot food on the stove, the holidays feature plenty of safety hazards.
The following winter holiday safety tips will help you create a safe home environment for your kids and animals:
- Whenever the fireplace is lit, block it off with a screen Or, if it has glass doors, close them.
- Place candles in safe places where they can’t be knocked over.
- Keep matches, lighters, and batteries out of reach of children.
- Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended, and make sure your children and animals stay at least three feet away from all hot kitchen appliances.
Lights Out When You Leave
Skipping this winter holiday safety tip can have disastrous consequences.
Whenever you leave the house or turn in for the night, blow out all candles, unplug all lights, and shut off all heat sources.
The last thing you want interrupting your silent night is a fire!
Don’t Risk Getting Placed on Hold…
Our last winter holiday safety tip can save lives.
Fires and emergencies skyrocket during this time of year, overwhelming 911 dispatch centers. Unfortunately for many victims, this heavy influx of calls often leads to delays and lengthy wait times.
If your house is on fire, these delays can cost thousands in property damage…
If someone is injured, they can be life-threatening.
Don’t risk getting placed on hold.
Download the Rescu app today to instantly send first responders to your address in just two taps on your phone or Apple Watch. No talking required.
Rescu operates out of a private dispatch center that’s 5-Diamond UL-Certified, so there’s no risk of your emergency alert getting backlogged or lost in a queue.
As soon as you send an alert, Rescu’s monitoring center will dispatch the nearest first response team to your preset address. At the same time, the app will notify them of your pre-registered health information and send a text message to all your emergency contacts.
Keep the holidays merry, bright, and safe this season with the fastest way to get help in an emergency. 24/7 protection and peace of mind costs just $10 a month!