The holidays are upon us and if you want to avoid a ho-ho-horror show at your home, there are some very important safety tips to ensure your home (and sanity) survive the holiday season. It’s so easy to have a set-it-and-forget-it mentality this time of year, especially with all the holiday hectic-ness, but here are some very quick tips to hopefully help avoid disaster (courtesy of our friends at State Farm Insurance.)
Only make purchases from trusted retailers to avoid the risk of purchasing counterfeit products.
Be sure to buy decorations according to your intended use outdoors or indoors.
Always buy electrical equipment that displays a label indicating it has undergone independent testing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Don't use lights without fused plugs.
Inspect lights for broken sockets, frayed wires and loose connections. Dispose of any damaged sets.
Never connect more than three strands of lights together.
Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices, as they can overheat and cause a fire.
Always plug outdoor electrical decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
Turn off all electrical decorations when you leave the house or go to sleep.
Never use furniture as a ladder.
Always inspect and clean your ladder before climbing onto it.
Follow the 1-to-4 rule for extension ladders: For every four feet the ladder rises, move the base out one foot from the structure.
Always keep three points of contact on the ladder: two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
Keep your hips between the side rails. Climb down and move the ladder if you can't reach an area.
Avoid using candles when possible, and consider using battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
If you do use candles, keep them at least 12 inches from flammable material.
Only use fire-resistant artificial trees.
Make sure live trees have green pine needles that don't fall off easily or break when bent, and look for sticky resin on the trunk.
Never place a tree by a fireplace, radiator or other heat source.
Always use noncombustible or flame-resistant tree decorations.
Avoid decorating the mantel with stockings, greenery or other flammable decorations if you use your fireplace frequently.