Holiday Home Safety Tips

Dec 21, 2016

As we get ready to celebrate the upcoming holidays with friends and family, we’ve rounded up some safety tips to keep your home and family safe. Keep these tips in mind as you enjoy a wonderful holiday season!

When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and needles do not easily break. (Looking for the perfect place to get your own fresh Christmas Tree? Check out our last blog post, Best Christmas Lights and Tree Farms in the Chicago Suburbs.)

Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to allow for better water absorption. Keep the tree stand filled with water so that the tree will not dry out and become a fire hazard.

If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as “fire resistant.”

Inspect lights before you hang them, and don’t use any lights strings with broken bulbs, cracked sockets or frayed wires.

Make sure that your outdoor lights have actually been certified for safe outdoor use. Do not hang them with tacks or nails that may damage the wire; instead use plastic hooks.

Turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed, or keep them on an automatic timer.

Before using the fireplace, make sure the chimney is free of debris and the flue is open. Remove stockings, garland and other decorations from the area when the fireplace is in use, and never leave it unattended.

Never use candles to decorate your Christmas tree, or near pine garland and other flammable decorations.

Some popular holiday plants like holly, mistletoe and Jerusalem Cherry can be toxic to children and pets, so keep them out of reach. Learn more here.

Kitchen fires become a huge risk during the holidays so check on food often, use a timer that is loud enough to hear, keep anything flammable like oven mitts and towels away from the stove, and make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy.

Don’t leave gifts in plain sight of windows, and keep your doors and windows locked whenever you leave the house. If you’re traveling from home for an extended period of time, don’t post about travel plans on social media.