Seasonal Holiday Decorations: Safety In and Outside Your Home
For many people, decorating their home for Christmas is one of the joys of winter. However, amid the festivity of decking out a residence with lights, a Christmas tree, and all the trimmings, certain dangers exist that, if not recognized, can lead to hazardous situations. If you live in an HOA community that encourages residents to decorate their homes for Christmas, and you are looking forward to displaying season holiday decorations, be sure to follow the tips below.
Buy a Recently Cut Tree
If you prefer to use a natural Christmas tree instead of an artificial one, be sure to purchase a tree that was recently cut. Trees that are cut days before purchase often have dry needles that are more likely to catch fire than fresh needles. The best way to ensure that a tree is recently cut is to buy it from a Christmas tree farm that removes the tree from the ground right before you buy it. Because its needles are more resistant to heat, a fresh tree is safer to string with lights.
Place the Tree Away from the Fireplace
Fresh Christmas trees are less likely to combust than dry ones, but even needles on evergreen trees in the wild are relatively combustible. Paintings on holiday greeting cards often show a glowing Christmas tree sitting close to a crackling fire. The scene may look warm and cozy, but one popping ember from the fire could cause the tree to go up in smoke. If your home has a fireplace that you use in winter, be sure to set your Christmas tree away from the fire.
Observe Precautions for Christmas Lights
In terms of safety precautions, Christmas lights could have their own blog entry. Before you buy lights, look to see if they were tested by a safety certification company, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). When stringing the lights, don’t use more than three standard-sized light strings per extension cord. To be sure you don’t load an extension cord with too much voltage, check the voltage rating of the lights and the voltage rating of the extension cord.
In addition, don’t hang lights on a metallic Christmas tree. If a lights malfunctions and exposes the tree to an electric charge, the tree could gather a high charge that seriously shocks anyone who touches it. Because no electrical product is infallible, another good safety practice is to only leave Christmas lights on while you are home. If a string of lights malfunctions and creates a spray of sparks, you’ll be able to address the situation soon after it happens.
When choosing trimmings such as holly, artificial snow, and ornaments, try to purchase products that are made from non-combustible or flame resistant materials. If children will visit your home over the holidays, you should also look for trimmings that are led-free. If children will visit your home, it’s also a good idea to choose trimmings that don’t contain glass. If you do choose trimmings that contain glass, keep them hanging above the reach of children.
Hanging seasonal holiday decorations can be festive and fun, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the right safety precautions. If your HOA community needs to develop a list of safety rules for seasonal holiday decorations, contact an HOA management provider today.