You want your holidays to be memorable, but for the right reasons. Help ensure you celebrate a safe and happy holiday by observing these simple – but essential – tips to help safeguard your loved ones and belongings.
Celebrate with a live tree – safely
Choose the right tree! Healthy trees have green needles that do not fall off easily and supple, not brittle, branches.
- Water your tree daily, and keep your tree indoors for no more than two and a half weeks.
- Remove the tree immediately if it stops taking water or if needles become brittle or begin to drop.
Light the way to a careful holiday
- Test each strand of holiday lights in an outlet before hanging.
- Inspect strands for frayed wire and bulbs that are cracked, broken or missing.
- Touch each strand to be sure the wire and bulbs are not heating up. Discard any warm strands.
Watch and tend to open flames
- Decorate trees only with ornaments and electric lights, avoiding candles.
- Display candles away from curtains, paper and other combustible items and pets.
- Always extinguish candles when you leave the room, and monitor and trim wicks as you enjoy the candles’ warmth and aroma.
- Use a dish or container designed to catch melted wax.
- Always lock up candles, matches and lighters to protect children.
Maintain your fireplace and smoke detectors
- Before you get toasty in front of a fire, have your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned.
- Use only aged, hard firewood to start and fuel your fire. Wrapping paper and tree needles and branches burn unpredictably and belong in the trash.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing batteries regularly.
While the holiday rush may keep you busy, taking the time to protect your family and home from fire is a valuable investment, ensuring more happy occasions for years to come.
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article.