When someone says Christmas, the vast majority of people envision joy, family time, presents, snow or other pleasant things. But during this period we're also surrounded by a lot of decoration, lights and electronic devices that might cause unnecessary danger if we do not take a few simple precautions. To ensure a safe Christmas, read the following tips which will help to make your holidays pleasant and risk-free.
The Christmas tree
- If you're buying a living tree, make sure it's fresh. You can test this by tapping the tree on the ground and see if green needles fall down.
- Buy only artificial tree which are marked fire-resistant.
- Keep the tree at least 3 meters away from all equipment and appliances producing heat.
- If the tree is wobbly, take it from the stand and redo the screws and bolts. You should also secure it with wires to prevent it from tipping over.
- Clean the tree stand before the holidays for improved water intake. Check water levels several times a day and refill if needed. Trees absorb a lot of water in heated rooms, and if there's not enough in the stand, they will dry out – and potentionally catch fire.
- After the holidays are over, make sure you dispose the tree properly. Never, never try to burn the tree in the fireplace.
- If you have kids, it's in your best interest to get larger ornaments where tiny parts can not fall off and swallow. Put smaller ornaments out of reach. Try to keep an eye on the kids when they're playing around the tree.
- Reccheck your light strings every year and discard the ones that do not work anymore.
- It's a good idea to turn off the christmas lights while you're asleep and especially if you leave your home. You may use an automatic timer or even a motion detector that turns the electricity for the lights on and off.
- In the outdoor areas, use only lights that were designed for exterior use.
- Make sure the bulbs are fastened securely and that the socket is pointing down to avoid moisture build up. Unplug any lights before changing the bulbs.
- Never use light strings on metal fake trees.
- Wrap plastic bags around light strand connections and tie their ends with Teflon tape.
- Keep outdoor electrical connectors above ground, especially out of puddles and snow.
- Never use extension cords intended for interiors outside.
- At Christmas, there are lots of extra electronic devices used. Avoid overloading wall outlets.
- Recheck and put new batteries in your smoke detectors or install new ones.
- Make sure that there's a working fire extenguisher in an easily accessible place.