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The holidays are a hectic time filled decorating, cooking, gift buying and entertaining. It is the time of year when we fill our homes with traditional decorations, keep our ovens roaring with special recipes, and run hither and yon as we try to get everything done in time. Flickering candles and a fire in the fireplace add to the cozy family feeling and holiday glow.
Unfortunately, sometimes we are so busy creating atmosphere and running errands that we forget to pay attention to basic safety. Sadly, this distraction can put our homes and our loved ones at risk. The following basic reminders can help keep you and your family safe and make this year's holidays beautiful and secure.
Twinkling lights hanging from the roof or edging the windows give a festive, lively look to any home during the holidays. You can make sure your lights are safe by testing and inspecting them before you hang them. Look for exposed wires or broken sockets and dispose of any light sets that are damaged. When hanging lights outdoors, use extension cords that are water resistant and designed for the outdoors. Read the instructions for the lights. Usually, manufacturers advise that homeowners string no more than three strands of lights together.
Whether lights are inside or out, don't overload the electrical sockets. Use power strips when possible. This will help prevent units from sparking or overheating and potentially causing a fire. As an additional precaution, make sure to turn off or unplug all lights when you go to bed or when you leave your home.
Holiday greens such as fresh Christmas trees, wreaths, garland and holly all bring a lush feeling to your home. However, if displayed carelessly these greens can also become fuel for a fire. Check your Christmas tree for freshness before you buy it. Give the tree a shake. If an avalanche of needles fall from the branches, the tree is too dry. The tree's needles should not be easy to pull from the branches. Look at the stump where the tree was cut down. Sticky resin should be visible. A tree that is too dry is a terrible fire hazard. When you bring the tree home, place it in a watering stand and keep the stand full of water. Try to keep the tree away from heating vents, fireplaces and radiators to prevent fires.
Fire Light, Fire Bright
Candles on a fireplace or buffet table can lend the perfect finishing touch to a room decked out for the holidays. Place the flames are far from any holiday greens that might catch on fire and that be certain they are securely held in candleholders. You may also want to consider a safe and still very pretty alternative and use battery-operated candles. If you love a roaring fire in the fireplace, be responsible. Don't overload your fireplace and keep the flames to a reasonable size. Never leave candles or a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure to extinguish all flames before leaving the house or going to bed.
Each holiday season fire fighters rush to blazes that are the result of faulty wiring in decorations or candles that have been left unattended. Take precautions before accidents happen and you may save the holiday and may even save lives.