Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Did you now that on average some 12,500 people are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained from Holiday decorations? In this month's healthy home tips we will offer some valuable tips to keep you and your home safe during the holidays.


Safely installing interior and exterior holiday lights.

We all love a well-lit festive home, but before using any electrical decorations outdoors, make sure the product is approved for outdoor use. Carefully inspect each electrical decoration; cracked, frayed, or loose connection may cause a shock or start a fire. Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses and remember to turn off all electrical decorations before leaving the home, or going to bed. Never let children or pets to play with electrical decorations.

Ground Fault Interrupters prevent electrical problems

When hanging lights in the house, use no more than three standard size sets of lights per extension. Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by Ground Fault Interrupters or GFIs. Portable outdoor GFIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. A qualified electrician can also permanently install gFIs into household circuits. When hanging lights or decorations use ladders, staple guns, and hooks with extreme care.

Christmas Tree Safety

Choose holiday decorations with flame resistant, flame retardant, or non-combustible materials. If a live holiday tree is part of your decorations, make sure to keep it in water at all times. A dry tree is a more flammable tree. When decorating your tree make sure the weight is evenly distributed and the tree stand is secure, minimizing the chances of the Christmas tree tipping. Always keep the tree away from fireplace, heaters and parts of the house where traffic flow is heavy.

Commonsense tips for avoiding fire

When cooking that holiday meal, never leave a toaster or stove unattended as unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. Please remember never to leave burning candles unattended; always know the location of your fire extinguisher and how to use it. If a fireplace is part of your holiday decor, use care with fire salts, which produce colored flames when thrown on a wood fires. They contain heavy metals, which can cause gastro-intestinal irritation and vomiting if ingested. Do not burn wrapping paper in your fireplace as a flash fire may result as wrappings light suddenly and burn intensely. With these safety tips you can minimize you chance of turning your traditions into tragedy and enjoy your holiday festivities.

Mr. Handyman wishes you a happy holiday season.