Christmas décor hazards: What to look out for
It’s the most joyful time of year. Twinkling holiday lights adorn homes and businesses and the scent of fresh baked goods fill the air – making it easy to get into the holiday spirit. While the holiday season is filled with many traditions, laughter and gatherings with family and friends, it can also bring with it many potential home hazards.
From the possibility of bringing pests in the home to an increased risk for fire and injury, the holiday season is not without its fair share of threats. See below for four risks to keep on the radar this season.
Bringing pest into the home
Whether to purchase a real or artificial Christmas tree is often heavily debated, with strong opinions on both sides. While fresh-cut trees are the way to go for many families they may also harbor spiders, mites and other pests. Other holiday greenery, like wreathes and garland are also at risk for these pests. Before bringing these items indoors, check for signs of pests and shake them thoroughly outside. The last thing anyone wants is to cozy up next to the Christmas tree with a hot chocolate and family of spiders.
Overheating power strips and power outlets
Holiday lights are a staple decoration for many families. Often reused year after year, it is important to check each strand for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections and discard or repair any damaged ones to reduce the risk of fire. When putting up lights, many people overuse certain power outlets and power strips, which can lead to overheating. Try to spread out where the lights are plugged in as overheating power outlets or power strips can cause a fire to start. It is also important to turn off all indoor and outdoor lights before bed or if no one is home.
Dry Christmas tree
When purchasing a live Christmas tree, it is essential to check the tree for signs of freshness as a fresh tree will not only stay green longer, it will also be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To do this check that the needles are hard to pull from the branches and the trunk of the tree is sticky with resin.
Once the tree is inside, make sure to place it in a tree base away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heat inside the home may cause a tree to dry out faster. To help counteract this cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption and water the tree daily.
Whether used for visual or olfactory pleasure, candles are often used to help create the holiday spirit. As candles are an open flame, it is important to follow precautions to reduce fire risk. Keep candles away from Christmas trees and other decorations such as garland and holiday statues, and ensure they are not placed in an area where they can be easily knocked down. To create the visual ambiance without the open flame, consider investing in pre-lit candles.
In addition to the risk the holiday season brings to your home, there is also an increased risk for personal injury, especially while putting up decorations in high areas. The risk is greater for those using a ladder who are inexperienced at doing so. Be cautious for ice and make sure the ladder is sturdy to reduce the risk of falling.
RJE Home wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.