“Honey, do you honestly think I would check thousands of tiny little lights if I wasn’t sure the extension cord was plugged in?” — Clark Griswold (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)
The holiday season is here! Whether you celebrate like the Griswold’s or Margo and Todd, you have likely added some holiday décor to your home. Lights, candles and festive plants add a wonderful, warm ambiance to your home. By taking a few extra steps like unplugging your holiday lights before you go to bed or when you leave the house, can help you avoid a décor disaster this holiday season. Don’t let decorations wreak havoc on your holiday!
Watch for dry needles
Whether it’s your Christmas tree, wreath or garland, chances are they may dry out. If you find that pine needles are falling, clean them up immediately. Dry pine needles increase your risk for a fire hazard. If you find your tree, wreath or garland is extremely dry & it’s decorated with lights dry, toss it – nothing is worth the risk of a fire.
Prevent your chance of fires.
Christmas lights are bright and festive, but they could put you at the biggest risk for a fire. Check for any wear on the strings, cracked bulbs or any other signs of damage. Don’t try to repair them, instead replace them. LED lights emit less heat, so if you need to make the switch, choose LED lights that have been safety tested. You can read on the box if they have been inspected by looking for an UL logo.
Yes, we all know we should watch our candles. Ensure all candles are kept in a non-flammable holder. However, it’s important to keep a close eye on your centerpiece decoration if you plan to light the candles during your holiday dinner. If the candles burn too long, the centerpiece can catch fire. Even consider battery powered flameless candles. You have to look close to tell they’re not real!
Choose a safe spot for your tree.
Keep your holiday tree away from your fireplace, radiators, space heaters or any other area in your home where it could catch on fire. It should be at least 3 feet away from any heat source.
Be festive, yet smart with your holiday lights.
Whether your house looks like the Griswold’s or you just like to put up a single string of lights, your energy bill will increase during the holiday season. To avoid an extremely high electric bill, choose a window of time when your holiday lights will be turned on. For example, from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Avoid leaving your lights on all night.
Place your holiday plants in a safe place.
Choose areas away from young children and pets. Do not leave plants on the floor or a place where a child could easily reach for it.