We love to decorate our homes inside and out for the holidays. There are a few things to consider before you put up the tree or display those decorations though. Safety tips for decorating your home.
> When putting out candles keep them away from trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.
> Put on some gloves if you are using spun glass “angel hair.” It can irritate your eyes and skin. If you’re concerned about this use a non-flammable cotton substitute.
> Artificial snow that you use for windows or other surfaces, can irritate your lungs if you inhale them. ? Wearing a surgical mask will help.
> Some common plants used over the holidays such as: mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis can be poisonous or cause severe stomach problems. Keep all of these plants high enough so children and pets can’t reach them. ?
> When you put up a live tree, cut off about two inches off the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. If you are concerned about the little ones or pets accidentally knocking it over, tie it off to the wall or a railing. Tree’s take a lot of water, check the water level daily. ?
> Make sure your tree is away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Remember, your family may wake up at night so make sure your tree isn’t blocking hallways or doorways. It’s easy to see your way around during the day, not so easy at night.
> Try not to place breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on the lower branches where small children or pets can reach them. ?
> If you use an artificial tree, pick one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in lights should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. ?
> Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label.
> Check your lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. You wouldn’t want an electrical short to happen, this can be dangerous. If a child touches it, they can get a big shock or worse. Replace or repair any damaged light sets. ?
> Don’t overload your extension cords. use three light sets on any one extension cord.
> Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
> Make sure any outdoor extension cords are not laying in areas where rain or melted snow might puddle up. Water and electricity don’t mix.
Keep your family safe so everyone enjoys the holidays. Be Smart and Stay Safe. Most accidents that happen during the holidays are preventable.
Remember if you are selling your home to make sure potential buyers aren’t going to trip over any cords or decorations while walking inside or outside of your home. For more tips on decorating for the holidays while your home is for sale read Should You Add Holiday Decorations When Your Home Is For Sale
Irene Bilinski Bilingual Sales Representative: Independently Own and Operated Real Estate Sales Representative for Ottawa, Orleans and area.