Don’t Compromise Safety When Holiday Decorating

Money savings during the holidays often come in the form of reusing old decorations, shopping at thrift stores or deep discounters, and celebrating and cooking more at home. But if not done carefully, seemingly cheerful activities could quickly put a damper on holiday spirits.

Here are a few tips that I posted last year, but felt I should post again for readers to keep in mind while doing holiday decorating:

1) If you decorate using a real tree – A fresh tree is key:  If the needles are not fresh, it can lead to a greater risk of fire. Remember to ask your tree lot attendant to make a fresh cut to the base of the tree and place it in water as soon as you get home. Place tree in a tree stand that holds at least one gallon of water and check moisture level frequently.

2)   Light it right:  Carefully inspect your Christmas lights – new or old — before plugging them in. Look for cracked sockets or frayed, exposed wires that could become a shock or fire hazard. Replace damaged items with new decorations.

3) Indoor or outdoor?  Indoor-use only light strings are for indoor use only.  Don’t use them outside if they don’t say outdoor-use on them.

4) Shop at reputable retailers: Whether you are shopping online or heading to the mall, make sure it is a source that is reputable.  This reduces your risk for hazardous materials being contained in the decorations you purchase.

5) Exercise candle care.  If you have children and pets, place candles out of reach and away from heavy traffic areas in your home. Never leave a room with candles lit.

Have a safe and happy Christmas Season.

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