This month, our blog topics have focused on holiday safety, wintertime safety and ground maintenance. As Christmas Day and the new year quickly approaches, we wanted to give some more holiday safety tips this week. At Guarantee Restoration Services, we value safety as our number one priority. This holiday season, it is important to remember that disaster strikes when you least expect it to. That’s why you should be mindful of the following holiday safety precautions!
Holiday Safety Tips: O, Christmas Tree
When it comes to Christmas trees, many people believe fresh trees are the best trees. A tree that is too dry can easily catch fire, which makes real trees one of the most common holiday safety hazards. Regularly, trim at least one inch from the bottom of the tree. Doing so will increase the tree’s ability to absorb water. Live trees need a lot of water, so check the water level and refill as often as needed.
Is your tree dry or dead? Did you answer yes to either one of these questions? Then, it is time for it to go! Once your tree becomes dry, or the needles start to fall off in large quantities, it is time to dispose of the tree. Never burn old trees or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Instead, take your tree to a recycling center or have it removed by a community pick-up service.
On the other hand, some prefer artificial trees. Some people are allergic and cannot have the real thing. It’s alright to “fake it ‘til you make it,” but if you buy an artificial tree, make sure that it is made of fire-resistant material.
Holiday Safety Tips: Decorations of Red
Do not overload electrical sockets by plugging in too many cords into a single outlet. When no one is home or when everyone goes to sleep, remember to unplug your holiday lights. Be sure to check older lights for frayed edges or bare spots and throw out any damaged cords.
Indoor lights are for the indoors, only. Never use indoor lights outside. These lights are not made to withstand the outdoor elements. If they get wet, they can cause an electric shock. Remove outdoor lighting as soon as the season is over. Even specially created outdoor decorations are not designed to withstand the prolonged weather exposure.
Wrapping paper is for your trash can. Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. This may release fire-starting embers or produce a build-up of dangerous chemical fumes in the home.
Holiday Safety Tips: Holiday Entertaining
If you entertain guests who smoke, provide ashtrays and check for cigarette butts in upholstered furniture before going to bed. Cigarette fires are a leading cause of fire fatalities in the homes.
It may sound simple, but do not leave your stove unattended when cooking. In the excitement of entertaining family and friends, it is easy to forget something on the stove and leave it to burn, causing a potential fire hazard.
Holiday Safety Tips: Children and Pets
Another important holiday safety precaution is to keep an out for the breakables. Place all ornaments and candles out of reach of small children and pets. Small or breakable ornaments can be easily knocked down, which can result in cuts or choking. Curious children and playful pets can topple a tree in seconds, causing potentially serious injuries. And, no one wants an ER or urgent care visit on Christmas!
In addition, it is be mindful of toxic decorations. Mistletoe and holly berries may be poisonous if more than a few are swallowed. Old tinsel may contain lead, so discard old tinsel if you are not sure of its composition. Lastly, fire salts contain heavy metals, which if swallowed, may cause serious gastrointestinal problems and vomiting.
Holiday Safety Tips: Candles
Smells of pine, balsam, gingerbread and hot cocoa fill our homes and businesses, but not without dangers. Most of us think nothing of lighting a candle to warm the air or fill it with our favorite scents! One part of holiday safety that cannot be forgotten is to check your candles frequently to make sure they do not burn down too far or drip hot wax. Ensure that candles are placed in sturdy, non-combustible holders that are placed away from decorations and other combustible materials.
Clean and trim candlewicks. Cut them down to ⅛ inch to ¼ inch before lighting. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping. Candles should be placed at least three inches apart so they do not melt onto one another. Keep candles free of wick trimmings, matches or any flammable material that may ignite.
Our Guarantee to You
Although our four offices are closed Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th, we know fire emergencies due to holiday safety hazards can happen at any time. That is why our team is available 24/7, which is not just a number, it’s a GUARANTEE. For immediate assistance following fire damage or another property emergency, call 800-349-HELP (4357).