Christmas time is the happiest time of year where you exchange gifts with loved ones. One part of the Christmas holiday that people love most is seeing the beautiful homes in their neighborhood decorated with Christmas lights. These decorations add to the Christmas spirit! However, those beautiful decorations can cause a lot of trouble and misfortune if you’re not careful.
The National Fire Protection Association stated, “U.S.fire departments responded to an estimated average of 800 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2012-2016. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries and $11 million in direct property damage.” Again, these numbers do not include Christmas trees.
Here are 9 tips to ensure that you and your family are safe around Christmas decorations.
Don’t leave your lights unattended
It doesn’t matter if you’re driving down the street to the local food market or gas station; never leave your home with your Christmas lights on. This may seem tedious, always having to make sure your lights are turned off when you leave. However, you can use light timers and other remote controls that turn off your indoor and outdoor lights. You can even use an automated timer if you’re a forgetful individual.
Outdoor/Indoor Lights are not interchangeable
There may not be an obvious difference for most people when it comes to indoor and outdoor lights. However, outdoor lights are sealed against moisture, while indoor lights aren’t. Be sure to check labels when buying lights to see which category they may fall under.
Consider an artificial Christmas tree over a real tree
Christmas trees are the leading cause of house fires during the holidays. Real Christmas trees are beautiful and all, but being that they are dried out, they’re extremely flammable. A recent National Fire Protection Agency report shows that most house fires caused by Christmas trees are caused by natural trees sadly. Now, artificial trees cause fires as well, just not as much as natural trees. One thing to look for in artificial trees is whether or not they come with lights already on them. If so, be very careful and make sure it’s fire resistant if possible.
Ensure outdoor light strings are fastened
High winds and storms during the winter can cause Christmas lights to go flying! Ensure that you decorations are tied to trees, walls, or whatever you prefer to keep them from flying everywhere. This can cause electrical hazards and can lead to accidental fires.
Be Mindful of Extension Cords
Extension cords are often used for outdoor lights. However, placing extension cords outside on the ground where they can become surrounded by rain or melted snow is a bad idea. Keep your extension cords as dry as possible and utilize surge protectors to minimize damage.
Throw Away Old Lights
It’s easy to continue to use old Christmas lights for years upon years. The more modern lights made now days are safer since they are made to help prevent fires. Old Christmas lights can cause major damage. Your best bet is to simply throw them away and spend a few dollars on new lights. Besides, I would rather spend $20 on new Christmas lights than pay for damages caused to my home by a fire.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year….and we want to keep it that way! The last things we need are tragedies and misfortunes that could have been avoided. Be sure to read our most recent blog on ladder safety when it comes to putting up those Christmas decorations.