Be Careful When Hanging Holiday Decorations
Injuries from falls and shocks occur every year from hanging holiday decorations. Many homeowners use a ladder to string lights along the edge of the roof, even if it’s two or three stories high. If you choose to do this, use extreme caution, and wear slip-proof shoes. Always set the ladder on a dry, flat surface. When climbing on a ladder, it’s best to have a friend or family member there to spot you.
Another precaution that will help you stay safe when hanging holiday lights is only using lights that are in good condition and labeled for outdoor use. When unpacking your holiday lights, inspect each wire and bulb. Discard the entire strand if there are signs of damage anywhere. Using broken strings of lights could cause an electric shock when you are up high on the ladder, causing you to fall. Even if you successfully decorate the house without injury, a broken or frayed string of lights can be the source of a house fire when plugged in.
Holiday Safety at Home and Your Tree
A holiday tree that has not been watered is very flammable. If it comes into contact with an open flame or a spark from a broken string of lights, it can go up in flames in seconds. Set a daily reminder to water your tree so that it stays fresh. Set up the tree on the opposite side of the room as the fireplace, and away from baseboard and space heaters. Don’t hang worn-out strings of lights on the tree, and keep candles a safe distance away.
Fire Hazards Over the Holidays
House fires are more likely to happen during the holiday months than other times of the year, due to cooking, decorations, the fireplace, and other hazards. A basic way to practice holiday safety at home is to test all the smoke and CO detectors in the home and replace their batteries if this has not been done in the previous 6 months. Make sure your fire extinguishers are not expired and keep one on every floor of the house. Don’t plug more than 2 strings of lights together, and be careful to not overload electrical circuits.
Holiday Safety at Home: Considerations for 2020
In 2020, the holidays may look different than in years past. Due to COVID-19, the CDC is recommending keeping gatherings small and refraining from traveling to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Consider keeping your holiday celebration limited to members of your household, and wait until next year to bring extended family together.