Well, as we are nearing the holiday season, it is time to start thinking about making our homes safer during this time. This time of the year is supposed to be a special time of celebration and shouldn’t end in tragedy due to the extra hazards present. Let’s take a look at some important safety recommendations.
Natural christmas trees can be a major fire hazard. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases as can be seen in this video. Here are a few basic ideas to keep your natural tree fresh and healthy, and to protect your family:
- When selecting a tree, the trunk should be sticky to the touch.
- If you bounce the trunk on the floor and many needles fall off, it has been cut for too long and is a fire hazard.
- Make sure the water level on the tree never drops below the bottom of the tree.
- Make sure your tree is securely fastened to the stand so it isn’t easily tipped over.
- Keep your tree away from heat sources such as a space heater, fireplace and candles.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in a clearly visible place.
- Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
- If you choose to have an artificial tree, choose one that is fire retardant.
- Discard the tree as soon as it shows signs of drying out by taking it to a recycling centre. Do not put it in to a fireplace or wood stove.
- Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily.
- Don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
- Don’t put them immediately above or around the fireplace.
- Keep them away from candles.
- Keep glass and small ornaments out of the reach of children.
- Mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias, can be toxic. Keep them away from babies and small children.
- Check the fuses are the right type for the lights that you are using.
- If any of the bulbs blow, replace them immediately.
- Never leave fairy lights on when you go out or when you go to sleep.
- Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily.
- Don’t overload sockets.
- Check for loose connections, frayed ends, bad electrical sockets and plugs, or other damaged wiring. Don’t repair them, replace them.
- Small, new lights are safer than the older, larger bulb style that generate more heat and dry out your tree faster.
Other things to remember:
- Check all batteries in smoke detectors.
- Keep a first aid kit handy.
- If travelling, keep an emergency kit in your car.
- Have a family evacuation plan in place, in case of fire or other emergency.
Use common sense and think ahead for possible dangers that are unique to your family. There is always something you can do to make your home better prepared and safer for the holidays.