If you are an avid holiday decorator, your decorations have been up since the day after Thanksgiving. So this will serve as a follow up checklist for you. Any time you are dealing with lights, wires, candles, live trees etc… you need to take precautions.
We all remember the scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation where the cat chewed on the Christmas lights and the whole tree went up in smoke. When dealing with live trees take all necessary precautions. When purchasing a live tree be realistic. Don’t get a tree that you’ll need three grown men to carry in. Make sure you anchor the tree so it doesn’t tip over causing damage or injury to guests. Keep the tree watered. If you have pets that show interest in the tree, ornaments or lights keep an eye on them. If you have small children it may be a good idea to put up an artificial tree as they are less likely to tip over.
When placing lights around the tree and in and around your home inspect them first. You need to look for wear and tear. How are the bulbs? Is the wire starting to fray? It is also important to use indoor lights indoor and outdoor lights outdoor. If you are using extension cords don’t cut corners. If you have illuminated the outside of your home, get outdoor extension cords. They are made to withstand rain, snow and outdoor weather conditions.
Are you planning on decorating your mantle with candles? Use flameless candles. These candles produce the same effect and are safer. When you mix garland with real candles there is potential for a fire. If you will be lighting a menorah this holiday season extinguish the flame upon leaving the room.
This is the time of year for mistletoe and holly as well as poinsettias. If you have pets it’s not a good idea to decorate your home with these live plants. They can be poisonous to your pets. You can substitute by using artificial plants. Many artificial plants are of good quality and look very real.
When the decorating is complete, look around your home to ensure everything is secure. If you plan on having guests over during the holidays you would want to prevent any injuries. Prior to decorating the outside clean out your gutter of all leaves. If you are placing blow up items on your lawn take care to secure those as well.
One of the most important things to remember this holiday season is to turn off the lights at night and when you leave the house. Safety is more important than impressing the neighbors and passers by with your beautiful light display.
Enjoy the beauty of this holiday season.