Andrew Darda
O: (239) 319-2357
C: 239-849-3883
Mike Darda
O: (239) 319-2357
C: 239-851-6494

Be Safe in Your Home This Holiday Season

Friday, December 16, 2016

The holidays are looming ever larger in our thoughts and we thought now might be a very good moment to offer some useful tips to help make your home that little bit safer over the hectic days to come.

Candles - Very simply, candles need to be handled with great care. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), they account for a staggering 51% of home decoration fires in December, so proper attention to detail here can clearly reduce risks significantly. Candles should be kept safely away from other decorations and any other potential ignition source and should be out of the reach of children and pets. Always blow out candles before a room containing them is going to be unoccupied.

Natural trees - It's vital that natural trees are not allowed to dry out and watered daily. In fact there are a wide range of useful safety hints on this subject offered by the NFPA. Click here to download their tree safety sheet.

Use flame resistant/fire retardant decorations - not much more we need to say here, other than they will clearly help in risk reduction. The NFPA says that nearly half of decoration fires happen because they are placed too close to a heat source.

Holiday lights - These should never be left unattended and should be switched off when you retire at night. Worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections should be immediately replaced. Use clips, rather than nails or pins, to hang lights. Make sure that lights are the correct ones for internal or external use.

Extension cords - Don't be tempted to string multiple extension cords together. Use a single cord that is capable of reaching the required power outlet without stretching or entanglement. Ensure no holiday electrical cabling creates a trip hazard on floors.

Gift wrap - If you have a fire, don't be tempted to fuel it with used gift wrap as this can create a flash fire. Collect up and dispose of in your trash can as soon as possible after present-giving.

Tinsel - It looks pretty and innocent enough, but can be deadly if swallowed by cats and dogs who may be attracted by its appearance. Keep tinsel out of their reach.

Musical holiday cards - Another great source of fun, but they do contain tiny button batteries that can cause serious problems if ingested. It's not a good idea, therefore, to let young children play with them unsupervised.

Toys - It's a super busy time of year and often a mad scramble to get presents wrapped. Before you do, however, remember that you'll probably be even busier on the big day, so take time to ensure you've read any provided safety instructions before the kids are let loose with their new toys.

Kitchens - Preparing all that wonderful food means that you'll very likely be controlling a certain amount of chaos in the kitchen. Move hot liquids and foods away from the edges of counters and tables, where they might be knocked over by a child. Consider the merits of keeping very young children out of the kitchen altogether during the busiest times, when your attention can be so easily distracted. Click here to read further holiday kitchen safety tips from Martha Stewart.

Keep it clean - As we mentioned earlier, don't let used holiday wrap accumulate and create a potential hazard. Make sure that you clean up before retiring after evening parties and that there's no alcohol left out that an early rising child might come into contact with. Encourage the kids to keep their toys tidy, too, as these can often create nasty trip hazards for you and your guests.

We hope these simple tips will help you to enjoy a wonderful holiday time.

Happy Holidays.

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