holiday familyGetting ready for the holidays often means putting up decorations, trekking through snow, making trips to the store and long drives to visit family. Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, your home is susceptible to various safety hazards. To get through the season, consider the following issues.


They look pretty – but extension cords, worn-out parts and poor placement can result in a fall-related injury or a fire in your home. As you take out boxes from last year, be sure to think about:

  • Inspecting your decorations. Anything with frayed cords, exposed wires or loose connections should be discarded.
  • If you replace a bulb, make sure it matches the original wattage.
  • Don’t leave your lights on all the time. Instead, turn them off whenever you go to sleep, during the day or any time you leave the house.
  • If you decide to use Angel Hair, always handle it with gloves. This spun glass material easily irritates the skin and eyes. For a safer, easier-to-handle alternative, stick with traditional garlands or opt for something cotton-based.
  • Be careful with artificial snow, as it can irritate your lungs when inhaled. Instead, always read the package directions before spraying it.
  •  If you have pets or kids, decorate your tree with them in mind. As a result, always secure and anchor the tree itself and keep ornaments away from the bottom.
  • As far as the tree is concerned, make sure a real one is green and fresh. If you opt for an artificial, check that it is a fire-resistant model.
  • Watch out for extension cords. Never connect more than one cord together and always keep them visible, not hidden under rugs or furniture.
  • For electrical outdoor decorations, keep any electrical connectors away from the ground and rain gutters. Hold them in place with plastic clips, rather than metal nails.

Test and Update Your Home

Now is likely the time of year when you have the most guests over. For safety’s sake, make sure you:

  • Have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on every level of your home that work.
  • Get your furnace and venting system checked. Forgetting to clean and replace the filters could eventually create a carbon monoxide hazard.
  • Create clear paths. You don’t know when a fire could happen, so make sure toys, wrapping paper and decorations are not standing in the way.

Have a Fire Safety Plan

Always make sure you consider all potential fire hazards and take steps to avoid them. Such a plan for your home may entail:

  • Getting rid of any flammable or combustible decorations.
  • Avoiding burning candles.
  • Keeping hot, flame-generating items out of reach for children and making sure they’re on a flat, stable surface.
  • Always keeping heat sources away from your tree and curtains.
  • Being careful with what you burn in the fireplace. To avoid a serious fire or creosote risks, never place wrapping paper or a tree there.
  • Checking and cleaning your chimney at least once per year.

For efficient heating and cooling, an energy-smart home is a great choice. To learn more about By Carrier’s communities, give us a call today.

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