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Deck the halls (safely, of course)

By: Melissa Babcock

It typically starts on Nov. 1.

The Halloween decorations at the store are relegated to the clearance bin to make room for shelves full of bright and festive décor. Bing Crosby is played incessantly over the loudspeaker at the mall. And you start trying to remember where you hid those presents you purchased on sale back in July.

The holiday season is upon us and we all know what that means: bright, sparkly lights, inflatable Santas and tinsel as far as the eye can see. With December in full swing, many people are putting their holiday spirit on full display as they decorate their homes and yards. And that usually means an influx of extension cords, candles and other bits and baubles that, while pretty, can pose a safety risk if not used properly. So here are some tips on how you can keep your home safe as well as festive:

  • If you’re putting up a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and keep it watered. Not only will it stay green longer, but a fresh tree is less of a fire hazard.
  • Place your tree at least three feet away from any heat sources. We don’t want to reenact that episode of The Simpsons where Bart sets the tree on fire.

    Cr

    He didn’t do it. 

  • If you have small children (or small pets), avoid using breakable ornaments. The last thing anyone wants is to pick through all the gifts to collect shards of broken glass.
  • Keep lit candles at least one meter away from anything flammable or combustible (like drapes, paper, or trees) and never leave burning candles unattended. If you can, use artificial candles! They’re lovely and you don’t have to worry about trying to relight a burned-down wick.
  • Don’t overload your outlets! And always check the cords on your lights and any electronic knick knacks to make sure they aren’t frayed or damaged in any way.
  • If you’re using an extension cord outdoors, make sure it doesn’t end up buried under the snow or sitting in standing water.

 

The Heads Up team hopes you enjoy a happy, safe and accident-free holiday season!

 

Sources:

http://www.esfi.org/resource/holiday-decorating-safety-342

http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/holiday_safety.html

http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Miracle_on_Evergreen_Terrace

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