Christmas time is here! Put up the tree, hang the stockings and the lights! With all of the fun and excitement around the holidays it can be easy to forget proper home care and safety precautions, and to overlook potential holiday hazards. Here are a few tips to help ensure you and your home are safe and secure this holiday season:
1- Water Your Christmas Tree Often: You’ve heard it a million times, but every year U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 210 home fires that initiated with a Christmas tree. Keep your tree watered to help prevent it from drying out. A dry christmas tree can be a serious fire hazard if something in the vicinity were to spark, catch fire, or if the lights on it get too hot.
2- Christmas Lights & Home Decor: Some christmas lights and decorations tend to get very warm after being left on for long periods of time. Be sure that any such lights or decorations are not sitting near, on or touching flammable materials or substances that could put your home at risk of catching fire.
3- Don’t Leave Your Christmas Tree on When You are Not Home: (As if the previous two tips are not obvious enough). An unattended Christmas tree with the lights left on can become a serious fire hazard to your home. Before you leave make sure you turn off your Christmas tree lights and decorations. Not only will you save a little electricity, but you will have peace of mind while you are away.
4- Hanging Lights On Your Homes Exterior: When hanging exterior christmas lights on your home be mindful of where you place nails as well as what type of nails you use. You don’t want to put a hole in something, or in an area, that you would not want to be exposed to weather if taken out later. Silicone or caulk that is designed for outdoor use can help prevent leaks around any penetrations and help prevent water from getting to untreated wood. If you do remove the nail, be sure to properly seal the hole using a silicone or caulk.
5- Extension Ladders Leaned Against Your Home: Regardless of the time of year, proper precautions should always be taken when using a ladder, especially an extension ladder. Be sure to put the base of the ladder on even ground or dig it in if needed. The proper formula for extension ladder use is to have the base placed one quarter of the working length of the ladder away from the home or structure. The ladder should also extend three feet higher than what you have it leaned against. If you are using an A-frame ladder, do not stand on the top platform, instead get a ladder that is the appropriate height to prevent possible injury. (No one wants to spend the holidays in a hospital!)
6- Electrical Home Safety: Exterior cord connections should be weather-proofed to prevent water and moisture from getting to the electrical components and causing potential injury or blowing a fuse. Do not overload power outlets with multiple surge protectors or outlet extenders to avoid tripping a breaker or worse, sparking an electrical fire. Older homes with poor wiring are more susceptible to having potential electrical issues. Regardless of your home’s age, be mindful of how much electricity you are pulling from an outlet.
Taking the proper precautions will help you and your family enjoy the holidays and avoid potential hazards. If your home requires a repair, our team of home experts are ready and available to correct the issue and repair any damages. From everyone here at AW Homes, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Financial Manager & Designer