During the winter holidays, fire accidents are the most common risks in homes. However, there are other dangers lurking inside homes when the decorations are put up. Below are important safety tips for enjoying the winter holidays safely:
- Metallic Christmas trees should never be decorated with electric lights to avoid the risk of fire and electric shock. Colored spotlights should not be fastened onto metallic trees, either. They can be used above or beside a tree to prevent the metallic tree from becoming charged with electricity from faulty lights.
- Sharp or breakable decorations should not be used if there are small children in the home. Children should be kept away from trimmings that have small removable parts or resemble candy or food.
- Bubble lights on trees should be kept out of the reach of children. Curious children can be tempted to break the glass, which can cut, and drink the liquid that contains dangerous chemicals.
- The tree should be decorated using tinsel or artificial icicles made of plastic. The trimmings must not contain lead, as this substance can be highly dangerous if ingested by children.
- Spun glass “angel hair” can irritate eyes and skin, and should be avoided. If artificial snow spray is used, it should be checked for the ‘nontoxic’ label.
- Pets can be kept safe by placing smaller and more fragile decorations at the top of the tree. When pets are present, twinkling lights should be unplugged. Pets must not be allowed to chew on branches, as they may be coated with harmful sprays, such as insecticide, fertilizer or fire retardant.
- Trees must be well mounted in a sturdy, well-fastened stand to prevent tipping/falling accidents (due to children or pet contact).
- When decorating the higher limbs of the tree, a sturdy step stool or stepladder should be used to prevent falling accidents
- Mould and mildew can be present on live Christmas trees and even on boughs and wreaths. A safe way to avoid this source of mould in the home is using artificial trees and decorations. Real trees should be hosed down before bringing them inside to remove existing mould spores. Real trees should not be kept in the home for too long, as more time can allow mould to develop.
Holiday parties also present safety risks, especially when alcohol is involved. Tips for hosting a safe party during the holidays are available here. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.