The holidays are coming up, and it’s important to remember home safety while celebrating this year. Decorating your house for the holidays is usually a regular tradition in every home, but there are some important tips from Aloha Construction to keep in mind.
First, Christmas lights can be a heavy burden on your electrical wiring, so it’s important to understand how to safely plug in all of your decor. Second, follow these simple safety tips to protect you when walking on and decorating your roof. Third, Aloha Construction will dissect the dangers candles pose during the holidays and how you can avoid them. Finally, they’ll share some important steps you need to take before lighting up your fireplace for the holiday season this year.
December is almost upon us, and with it comes the cheer and decorations of the holiday season. Just make sure you keep these four safety tips from Aloha Construction in mind when you start decorating for the holidays!
1. Be Careful with the Electricity
It’s no secret that most budgets go up during the holiday season due to gifts, festive food, and parties. However, another cost that will grow in December is your electric bill. A lot of American families string lights not just around their tree, but indoors and outdoors as well. It’s not uncommon to see them on for hours every day, or even throughout the night.
If you decorate with Christmas lights this year, be careful that you do not overload your outlets. Overloaded electrical outlets are a fire hazard and compromise the safety of your home and family, so these steps are essential for any holiday decorators to make sure your house is safe.
Try to use LED lights instead of incandescent. LED lights are much more efficient in electrical usage, and will use less power. Also, make sure to use extension cords sparingly because they add extra strain to your outlets, and refrain from placing them under rugs, blankets, or tablecloths. Know how many amps your outlets put out and do not plug too much into them. Finally, remember to turn off all the Christmas lights and decor before heading to bed, to lower your energy bill, protect the environment, and reduce the chance of an overloaded outlet or electrical fire.
2. Remember Roofs are Dangerous
The holiday season is jolly, but a visit to the hospital is not. Pulling out and putting up Christmas decor is a fun and light-hearted activity, but anything that happens on your roof needs to be taken seriously. Aloha Construction members regularly walk on roofs for repairs and recommend these tips to keep safe while decorating your roof this year.
First, if you are walking on your roof be very careful. Shingles are more fragile than you may think and are easy to damage just by stepping on them. If you are still heading up to your roof to string up some lights or a wreath, make sure you wear shoes with good rubber soles and traction to prevent slipping. Only stay on the least sloped areas and avoid standing and walking on steep pitches. Go up to decorate on a dry, sunny day, and make sure you leave if you see any signs of wind or a storm approaching. Finally, if you are decorating from a ladder, make sure you have a second person holding it at the bottom at all times to prevent falls.
3. Don’t Forget About Candles
Candles provide a nice, cozy ambiance, and come in many festive smells for the holiday season. They are a popular gift and even more popular as decor. However, it is important to remember that candles can be deadly if you do not take the proper precautions when using them.
Only light candles in the room you are in. If you are leaving one room to head to another, blow out the candles that will be left out of sight. It only takes a few minutes for a blaze in your house to catch and grow completely out of control. If you leave your house, check and double check that none are left burning.
If you have kids or pets, it may be better to just use fake candles this holiday season. Many look very real with flickering lights, and there are a lot of ways to infuse your house with holiday scents without the use of candles. If you do choose to still use real ones, be very careful about their placement. Make sure they are out of reach of all children and nowhere that your pets can access or knock them over. Finally, teach your children about fire safety and the importance of being aware of candles, why they should not play with them, and what to do if one falls over.
4. Check the Fireplace
While this doesn’t apply to everyone, many families use their fireplaces sporadically and only turn them on during the holiday season. If you have a fireplace, make sure you check it thoroughly before the first use to prevent a chimney fire or smoke inhalation.
Aloha Construction recommends calling for an inspection and cleaning from the professionals, but it is possible to take a look on your own. If it’s all clear, don’t forget to make sure the flue is open as well to release the smoke.
As always, never go to bed with an active fire still burning. Even embers need to be carefully put out by smothering them in ash or flour. Don’t use water! Water can cause smoke and steam to billow out into your home, and even damage the fireplace itself.
The holidays are coming up, and the decor is coming out. Just make sure you remember these four tips from Aloha Construction to decorate safely for the season this year!