14 Tips for Holiday Safety

Posted by Ed DePrato on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 6:52pm.

The holiday season is upon us and you’ve probably started decorating your home and shopping for gifts already but we wanted to give you some tips that will not only protect your home and possessions but your family too. We want everyone to stay safe this holiday season!

Light Safety
1. Make sure you carefully inspect strings of lights for any breaks in the line, cracked holders or frayed cord ends. Your better off throwing out an old set and buying new than risking a fire.
2. Turn your holiday lights off whenever you leave the house or go to bed. Lights shouldn’t be left unattended when they are on.
3. Look for a certification mark on lights from an accredited organization such as UL, ELT, or CSA International. These products will meet the safety standards required.
4. Check to be sure that any extension cords used outside are labeled for outside use. Don’t use an indoor cord outside because it isn’t made to withstand the elements.

Christmas Trees
1. Get the freshest tree available by doing a few checks. Pull on the needles. If they are fresh they should not come off easily and they shouldn’t snap. Shake the bottom branches. A few needles may fall but it shouldn’t be a lot. Branches should be flexible and not break easily.
2. Water your tree every day. Christmas trees can drink a lot of water and it’s not unusual for it to drink up to 8 litres in the first day alone. It’s important that the water level not fall below the cut base and allow it to dry or it will seal and the tree won’t be able to drink without being recut. Also, there are some tips out there that will suggest adding things to the water to preserve the tree. Use only fresh water with no additives, especially if you have small children or animals.
3. Place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, wood stoves, and heaters. Cut trees will dry out quickly and become a serious fire hazard.

Don’t Entice Thieves
1. Keep presents out of sight even if they’re wrapped to prevent a smash and grab.
2. Don’t talk about expensive purchases in public and make sure any large boxes are cut up and disposed of in bags not sitting out for collection.
3. Don’t publicize your holiday travel plans on social networks. Thieves watch them to find people who will be gone for a few days so they can rob their home. Talk about your holiday after it’s over and you’ve returned home.
4. If you will be gone for the holiday, make arrangements to have a neighbour, friend or family member look after your home by checking doors and windows and bringing in mail. Put your lights on timers and ask a neighbour to park in your drive to give the appearance that someone is home.

Mind the Fire
1. Never leave a fire unattended. Blow out candles if you’ll be leaving a room and when you go to bed. Also, don’t place candles near anything that can catch fire such as draperies.
2. Make sure that the fire in your fireplace is completely out before you go to sleep and never leave it going while you are out of the house.
3. Don’t dispose of wrapping paper in the fireplace since it can combust quickly and embers can fly out which poses a fire risk.

We hope you find these tips helpful and that you’ll share them with your family and friends. Just click the share buttons at the top of the page. Now that you’ve seen our list of safety tips, what’s your best holiday safety tip? Tell us in the comments.

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