Our last post dealt with some safety tips as you light up your homes exterior. This week, I want to touch on a few things that you may not have considered for the interior of your home.
It is just as important to inspect your interior light strands each year prior to use. Look for frayed wires, missing or broken lights, and if in doubt replace the strand. Never put electric lights on a metallic tree, as if there is a fray in the strand, the tree can become energized and a shock hazard.
Before the holidays get into full swing, take a moment and check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These are important safety features of your home and act as a first alert in the event of an emergency. Never use open flames or candles on or near flammable materials such as wreaths, trees, or paper decorations. Also, never leave lights on when you aren’t home. The wiring is not the highest quality and it could be a fire hazard.
Extra lights tend to use up the outlets fast. Take caution when running extension wires around the house. Never run wires under rugs, as it may be a trip hazard.
Another important safety reminder during the holidays is to be vigilant against theft and would-be burglars. Gifts under the tree are a blatant display that there are valuables in the home and a welcome invitation for thieves. The best practice is to leave gifts tucked away until the last possible minute, or avoid having them prominently displayed in the front window. Whether you are home, or out and about, be sure to close and lock all doors and windows and set your alarm. Alarms or closed circuit video surveillance systems are a great and inexpensive way to protect your home. Be aware what you are throwing away. The box for the new flat screen TV by the curb is an enticing advertisement for what may be on the inside of your home.
If you plan on traveling for the holidays, plan ahead for home safety (we all don’t have Kevin McCallister to leave behind to combat Marv and Harry). Have a neighbor collect the mail and newspapers, or have the services stopped by calling the post office or the paper delivery person. Put timers on your lights and TV, and if possible see if you can leave a car in your driveway.
While keeping your home safe may not top the list of your holiday “to dos,” taking a few extra precautions can go a long way to make sure your season stays merry and bright.